INTUG Goes to European Parliament Hearing

INTUG and BELTUG took part in a 4 December hearing on the single market for communications at the European Parliament, with INTUG Chairman and BELTUG General Manager Danielle Jacobs sitting on the panel addressing "Consumer and other end-users' rights".

During the discussion, Ms. Jacobs spoke about key business issues including harmonized business-grade access for last mile and "international" versus "roaming" voice and SMS. The package proposed by Vice President Neelie Kroes aims toward a maximum rate for all voice and SMS. Danielle explained in the panel that international mobile call and text costs are too high, and are sometimes inconsistent with roaming tariffs, due to a waterbed effect from tariff balancing.

In some cases, it is far more expensive to make an international call than to make a roaming call to the same destination, because the EU cap on roaming tariffs only applies to calls or SMS made from abroad, not to abroad (the latter are considered simply "international" calls or text messages).

Ms. Jacobs gave an example,

"A user with a Belgian mobile number may pay 25 euro cents for an SMS from Belgium to Spain, because this is considered by the operators as an "international" SMS. But this text message would only cost the same user with the same Belgian mobile number 8 cents if sent from Italy to Spain, because it would fall under the roaming regulations. Therefore it is very important that international calls NOT be removed from the European Parliament’s proposals."

Based on her very pertinent comments, Ms. Jacobs was asked to put together a 'note' for the use of European Member of Parliament Pilar Del Castillo, Coordinator of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and who reports to Parliament. INTUG and BELTUG are therefore very pleased to have the opportunity to assist in making the voice of the business user heard at all levels!

Source: BELTUG

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