Details of the European Commission’s new rules on roaming charges will be revealed tomorrow.
Neelie Kroes, vice president of the Commission, will announce full details of the new rules on Wednesday (11 September).
Her proposals have faced fierce opposition from the largest networks, including Vodafone, Orange and Telefónica, which say the end of roaming within Europe could cost them €7bn (£5.9bn).
Under the new rules networks will be effectively forced to offer a flat rate to customers at home or abroad for calls, texts and internet connections across Europe, according to a draft document leaked this week.
Kroes (pictured) is on a mission to end what she describes as ‘rip off’ roaming charges. She said: ‘It is about fairness. Europeans are tired of rip-off roaming prices: my proposal would end them, making your mobile package valid across the EU, at no extra charge.’
The move is part of wider plans to create a single European telecoms market. The new rules are designed to encourage more telecoms mergers which in turn will create pan-EU operators able to invest more in fixed-line and mobile broadband.
Kroes said: ‘Japan, South Korea and the USA have around the same population as the EU – but over 8 times more fixed fibre broadband, and almost 15 times more 4G. Europe needs to catch up.’
Author: Carol Millett