“There’s no need for phone companies to have any roaming charges at all,” said Labour’s Peter Skinner as the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy committee voted in Brussels today for a lowering of telephone and data roaming charges across the EU.
The changes should see the cost of making a call drop this year from around 30p/min to 21p/min and the cost of sending a text will fall to 7p. Further changes will follow with the cost of making a call set to fall as low as 13p/min by 2014.
“Phone companies are still using international travel as a way of ripping off customers. Roaming charges should be scrapped altogether but this compromise will bring down phone and data roaming charges across the EU in time for this year’s summer holidays.
“Airwaves know no international borders so it’s crazy for customers to pay loads for a phone call from Dover to Calais twenty one miles away, while Dover to the Shetlands, hundreds of miles away off the coast of Scotland, costs much less.
“In August 2010, the Commission endorsed the goal of reducing the difference between roaming and national calls to almost zero by 2015. But now they seem to have forgotten about it.
“People get scared when they travel and statistics show they don’t keep in touch with their loved ones by phone in case they suddenly have high phone charges when they return.
“The charges are complex and people get bamboozled so they don’t even dare send text home.
“These days, we take all sorts of computers and smart phones with us as we travel, and the high data roaming charges badly affect business and they can really ruin the fun of a holiday.
“Consumers are paying four times the price that operators have to pay in the wholesale market for roaming calls. This can only be controlled at an international level by an organisation like the EU.
“Our group’s proposal, to end roaming charges altogether from 2014, was voted down but the compromise proposal agreed today now has to be agreed by the parliament as a whole and then by the EU governments.
“I call on Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, to get the British government to support consumers’ rights and not cave into pressure from their supporters who run the mobile phone industry,” he said.
|Current||2012 (July)||2013 (July)||2014 (July)|
|Phone Calls||€0.35 per minute for outgoing calls and €0.11 per minute for incoming ones||€0.25 per minute for outgoing calls and €0.08 per minute for incoming ones||€0.20 per minute for outgoing calls and €0.07 per minute for incoming ones||€0.15 per minute for outgoing calls and €0.05 per minute for incoming ones|
|Texts||€0.11 per SMS message||€0.08 per SMS message||
|Data||No limit||€0.50 per megabyte||