Feeds

EU regulators back wholesale route to cut roaming charges

At odds with EC

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Europe's telecoms regulators have supported plans to cut roaming charges but believe this should be done by cutting the cost of wholesale charges rather than retail prices.

The European Commission (EC) has already announced plans to regulate the amount cellcos can charge punters while using their phone overseas. Four weeks ago the EC published proposals for wholesale and retail regulation that would link international retail roaming charges with the price punters pay in their home country.

But the European Regulators Group (ERG), which includes UK regulator Ofcom, believes that attempting to regulate retail prices could be counter productive for end users. Indeed, the ERG said that while it "supports the commission's objectives, it has significant reservations about the regulatory mechanisms proposed by the EC".

Instead, the ERG favours wholesale regulation and wants to impose a single European-wide price cap on wholesale roaming charges (the price imposed by one mobile network operator on another for the use of its network) set at around €0.30, as opposed to the current average level of about €0.75.

And in a bid to ensure that these cost savings are being passed on to consumers, cellco roaming charges would be monitored.

The introduction of retail price caps should only be introduced if wholesale regulation failed, the ERG said.

"Mobile roaming charges are simply too high and do not currently represent a fair deal between the customer and the operator," ERG chairman Kip Meek said. "We share with the commission a desire to see prices continue to fall. However, we continue to believe this can best be achieved through wholesale price regulation with retail price regulation held in reserve."

Vodafone announced earlier this week it would cut roaming charges ahead of any intervention by the EC. It reckons that average European roaming costs for Vodafone customers will be cut by at least 40 per cent by April 2007, when compared to last summer seeing prices fall from more than €0.90 to less than €0.55 per minute. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.