Feeds

EU regulators back wholesale route to cut roaming charges

At odds with EC

Best practices for enterprise data

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. ®

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?