EC: Roaming makes no sense

World | February 17, 2014, Monday // 15:44|  views

Neelie Kroes (middle). Photo by BGNES

The European Commission (EC) called for the cancellation of mobile phone roaming charges within the EU.

An EC survey among 28 000 Europeans shows that 94% of them limit their mobile phone use when traveling to another EU country because they don't want to pay the extra roaming charges.

„Millions of businesses face extra costs because of roaming, and companies like app makers lose revenue too”, said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes “Roaming makes no sense in a single market – it’s economic madness.”

The EC has calculated that telecoms companies are missing out on a market of around 300 million phone users because of current pricing strategies, with negative effects for other businesses such as app makers.

In spite the booming use of mobile internet in the home country, when abroad, 47% would never use mobile internet. Only 1 out of 10 would use e-mails in the same way as at home and more than quarter switch off their phone altogether.

Millions divert to SMS rather than pay for calls.

Frequent travelers – the most lucrative section of the potential market - are more likely to switch-off their mobile phone data roaming capabilities than the occasional travelers. The Commission believes this is because frequent travelers are better informed about the real costs of data roaming in Europe than less frequent travelers.

“I am honestly shocked by these figures”, Kroes said. “It shows we have to finish the job and eliminate roaming charges.”

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Tags: Neelie Kroes, roaming charges, EC


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