Campaign Against Roaming Charges Gains Momentum

As the European Commission will cut roaming charges once again this summer, the battle is about to start whether the new measures go far enough.

Earlier this week, INTUG signed a letter calling for lower roaming charges to the British Minister of Communications Ed Vaizey.

Just one week earlier Dutch MEP Judith Merkies started a campaign to make roaming charges history.

And in a press release the OECD underscored the need for governments to boost competition in international mobile roaming markets in order to drive down the high prices being paid by consumers and businesses.

To help them, the OECD has laid out a series of measures that governments could take that would encourage effective competition, raise consumer awareness and protection and ensure fairer prices.

The OECD says that promoting transparent information on roaming prices would protect consumers and businesses. A financial limit for data roaming services would also help.

It is also essential to remove barriers that prevent mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) from having access to wholesale mobile services on local conditions and on fair and reasonable terms. These MVNOs should also benefit from regulated wholesale roaming rates between operators.

If other measures are not effective, governments should consider price regulation for roaming services. Wholesale roaming services could be regulated by means of bilateral or multilateral wholesale agreements with mutually established price caps, says the OECD.

On February 28 a committee of the European Parliament (ITRE) will discuss roaming charges in a meeting.

Source: INTUG, OECD

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