back to article EU to push through more roaming caps in 2012

Operators should brace themselves for more caps on European roaming, as the European parliament is planning more pricing restrictions when the current legislation expires. The current caps run out at the end of June 2012, but before then the European parliament plans to have more regulation in place – with stronger caps …


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  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    It's going to get capped anyway

    So I suppose they're decided to charge the most while they can.

  2. BarryP

    Perhaps some competition

    I travel about 10 days a month in Germany and so have a German sim card, but in the last year the roaming charges have got low enough that for some things, especially texting its cheaper to use my UK sim in Germany rather than use my other phone. Ok perhaps I am not the typical person but it is a competative element and I am using my phones more as prices drop.

  3. Miguel 1
    Thumb Up

    If the European Commission is serious about pulling down borders, barriers to commerce and such, they can do with mobile pricing something similar as they did with money transfer costs in the Euro zone (at least; I don't know if they apply when one of the accounts is in the UK): same price regardless of country of origin and destination.

  4. The Cube
    Thumb Up

    asking too much of users to compare prices while they're travelling,..

    Simple solution, force the operators to serve up their pricing plans on a standard web services interface and then we can have £0.99 apps which run and work out which roaming operator will rob us the least.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Eu should leave well alone, shareholders will want the same return so prices will go up for another service.

    It's like a balloon, try to squish one part down and another pops up.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Time for the "nega cent"?

    Operators currently have a vested interest in maintaining high roaming charges and this is not just through reciprocity. This can be changed by borrowing a leaf from the energy conversation book and the concept of the "negawatt". The rules for wholesaling should be revised so that networks profit more when they save their customers more.

  7. Joe Montana

    Abolish roaming charges...

    Instead of roaming charges, do it another way...

    Charge users the cost of an equivalent contract as provided by the local operator, while providing them a partial refund on the cost of their home contract for the days they are out of their home country.

    Or alternatively, since most providers in europe are part of the same parent companies simply offer contracts on a europe-wide or network-wide (ie anywhere that company operates) basis instead of locally to each country.

    It's only a logical extension, mobile contracts in the US used to be state specific with roaming charges if you left your state, and even in a small country like the UK there used to be higher charges for use out of region.

    Considering how easy it is to travel to another country these days, especially on much of mainland europe where the borders are almost totally open and the currency is the same.

  8. Mark #255
    Thumb Up

    already much better than it was

    I remember going to Italy in 2002, and being royally fleeced to use a PAYG mobile - charges to send and receive texts (50p or £1), and >£1/min phone charges (send or receive).

    Last week I was in France. Texts are free to receive, and 10p to send; calls were 11p/min to receive and 36p/min to make (reading off the nice text they send).

    The last bastion is data charges - £4/MB I was quoted (I relied on free Wi-Fi). It certainly shouldn't cost Orange ("the key brand of France Telecom", I read from their site) that much to supply me with data connectivity in France.

    So, well done EU, and keep up the good work started by steely Neelie.

  9. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Better idea

    The licenses should be EU wide.. and they should provide EU wide service... THAT would move them...

  10. Chad H.


    This is the infamous free market at work... Delivering better solutions for the consumer through competition.

  11. Nigel Whitfield.

    In the old days...

    Back when Orange (and probably others) started signing up their roaming agreements, you used to pay a different price abroad, depending on which network you selected.

    By simply looking up the prices in the handy booklet that was provided, you could see which network was the cheapest to select in which country, and set your phone to use it manually, as long as there was coverage.

    That certainly saved me a fair bit of cash at the time. But then, in the name of "simplification" they decided to charge one fee, regardless of which network you were using. Needless to say, it wasn't the cheapest, and so represented a net increase for people like me.

    Telling networks that they can't hide costs by pretending all the choices are exactly the same would seem to be a good start, and as 'The Cube' mentioned above, a smart phone app could easily select networks in price order if coverage wasn't sufficient on the cheapest one.

    It's astonishing when you complain to the networks about the cost of mobile data that they still blame it on the foreign companies, even when it's all part of the same group.

  12. Guillermo Lo Coco

    XMPP + new SIM card

    1) Go out of the airport,

    2) Buy a new SIM card with 50MB Internet

    3) Log into your XMPP account

    4) Make IM, VoIP and Video Calls (3G)

    5) Stop using phone numbers (pstn) and everything gonna change.

    6) Stop punish roaming charges. Look at the mirror and punish yourself for be useless using an old way of communication.

    7) Think again why Telcos promotion skype,Whatshits and other closed IM,VoIP services. (Divide & Conquer)

    1. Chris Parsons

      English? Who needs it! Clarity? What's the point?

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