5/21/2008 3:38:00 PM
Orange heeds EU warning and cuts roaming charges
Orange has become the first operator to cut its mobile data roaming rates, after the EU threatened networks with regulation should they not reduce costs for users travelling overseas by 1 July.
Orange appears to have responded to suggestions by EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year that roaming charges could be capped if prices aren’t dropped.
The operator has announced the launch of two new voice and data roaming packages.
The voice offering is called Favourite Countries and has already been rolled out in France and Romania, and is due to arrive in the UK and other selected European countries this summer.
In France, customers are being charged an upfront monthly cost of €5, but Orange says the UK price may vary slightly.
The operator claims there are no hidden costs and says it expects the offer to deliver price reductions of between 18% and 60% off the regulated ‘Eurotariff’, depending on which country the user is in.
Meanwhile, the data offer is called Travel Data Daily, and charges will range from €12-15 (inc. VAT) for 50MB for daily internet access within the EU.
Bourgoin, Executive VP for mobile operations at Orange, said: ‘These new offers, which are consistent in concept but local in adaptation, directly respond to this customer demand. These offers also demonstrate that competition is alive and well in the roaming market.
None of the other major networks would confirm to Mobile that they were going to follow suit and reduce roaming costs.