Feeds

EU poised on roaming agreement (again)

Compromise rates annoy everyone

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The EU's much debated roaming agreement is set to take a step forward if a modified proposal is accepted by the majority in a vote tomorrow.

If approved, it will be voted on by the member states on 7 June.

While there is broad approval for a capped "Euro tariff", a fixed-rate tariff which all operators in Europe will be required to offer, how high that tariff should be has been fiercely debated.

The other area of dispute has been if customers should automatically be moved to the tariff when it comes into force (opt out), or should be required to call their network operator to select the tariff (opt in).

As ever, the compromise is complex.

The current proposal is that wholesale roaming rates (the amount operators charge each other) should be set at €0.30 per minute, but should then decrease by €0.02 every year for the three years of the agreement.

Outgoing calls, when roaming, will be set at €0.49 a minute, incoming at €0.24, with both dropping by €0.03 a year except for the first year when incoming calls will drop by only €0.02.

To put that in perspective, the GSMA has said the industry can't survive without charging at least €0.65 for outgoing calls, while the German EU presidency wanted the rate set at €0.60. The original proposal called for the rate to be €0.40. So this compromise should annoy everyone with equal measure.

Customers will be able to move in and out of the Euro tariff without charge, but three months after it's introduced any customers who haven't actively requested a different tariff will be automatically migrated into the Euro option, giving network operators a real incentive to promote their alternatives.

Assuming the vote passes tomorrow, the proposal goes before the member states on 7 June, and should pass into law a couple of weeks after that. It might seem that the roaming debate has been dragging on for far too long, but considering the original proposal was only drafted in February, this is almost a land-speed record for the EU. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
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
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.