Menu
EU unveils plan to end roaming phone charges

EU unveils plan to end roaming phone charges

Lighter legislation is proposed for operators who remove expensive roaming charges

European Union telecommunications rules aimed at removing expensive roaming charges were unveiled Wednesday.

The proposed law, drawn up by Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes, includes both "carrot and stick" elements to encourage mobile phone operators to remove roaming charges for customers who use their mobile phones while traveling in the E.U.

The "carrot" part is lighter legislation for operators who offer a so-called "Roam Like At Home" product, with no difference in charges between the customer's home country or anywhere else in the E.U. Current E.U. laws, passed last year, require mobile phone operators to offer customers the chance to use a different provider when they travel. If they offer a Roam Like At Home package, they will not be required to decouple their roaming and domestic products in this way.

"But if your operator does not offer this, you can take matters into your own hands to avoid roaming charges. When you travel you can simply choose another provider who will give you better rates using same SIM card, same bill," Kroes said. That's the "stick" element of the proposal.

There's good news for consumers when it comes to contracts too. The proposed rules stipulate that a 12-month option must be provided and customers can leave without notice or penalty if contract terms change to their detriment.

Article 21 of the proposed regulation also states: "Providers of electronic communications to the public shall not apply any discriminatory requirements or conditions of access or use to end-users based on the end-user's nationality or place of residence unless such differences are objectively justified."

The proposed law would also make it easier for operators to launch cross-border services. Instead of having to get authorization from each individual national regulator, companies need only apply in one country, which will become a "reference regulator" for all authorizations, including subsequent withdrawal and suspensions.

In leaked earlier drafts of the proposal, the Commissioner appeared to be considering creating a single telecoms regulator to replace 28 national authorities. That may make the proposals easier for the European Parliament to swallow.

The Parliament must approve the proposed law and can make amendments before it goes before the Council of 28 member states for final approval.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationtelecommunication

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments