Telephone roaming proposals welcomed. Simon Coveney MEP
Simon Coveney MEP (FG/IE) today welcomed details outlined by European Commissioner Reding on a draft regulation aiming to reduce unjustified roaming charges.
It is estimated that the Regulation, when it comes into force, would reduce roaming costs by up to 70% for the 147 million Europeans paying roaming charges.
The proposed Regulation will apply after it has been agreed by European Ministers and the European Parliament.
Speaking in Brussels Coveney said: "The Commission is hopeful that this will happen by summer 2007, meaning that we would start to see reduced tariffs for making and receiving calls from that date".
"The original draft outlined earlier this year was considered by operators to be drastic, considering that moves have been made by the industry to reduce roaming costs. This is a more pragmatic response, allowing regulators to make a profit but cutting costs for consumers. The central element of the draft Regulation is transparency, with mobile phone operators obliged to inform consumers on charges which apply when roaming".
"The draft Regulation proposes to cap charges between mobile operators for carrying calls from foreign networks. Then operators can add a maximum of 30% mark-up at retail level. 30% is the mark-up operators usually make at domestic level. This mark-up would apply to calls made and received while roaming. It is hoped that increased competition will encourage operators to offer prices well below the caps. The cost of a call home from another Member State would at very most be 49 cents per minute".
"In relation to SMS messages, the Commission vows to monitor the cost based on information provided by national regulators and does not rule out the possibility of intervention in this area also".
"Today's announcement is good news for consumers and businesses, in particular small and medium sized enterprises. The measures announced today will increase competition between operators and lower tariffs," he said.
Majella O Doherty, Mobile: +32 475 752253
Or Simon Coveney MEP, Tel: +32 2 2845417 - www.simoncoveney.ie