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wco81 (Offline)
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Default EU may end all roaming charges - 15-06-2013, 02:46

EU to end mobile roaming charges next year - Telegraph

OK this part is very encouraging to hear for consumers:

Quote:
Roaming fees for voice calls, texts and internet access will
effectively be completely scrapped under the proposals, which are part
of a broader effort to create a single European telecoms market.

The group of 27 European Commissioners voted in Brussels on Tuesday
to drive the package through in time for the European elections in May
next year, to come into force as soon as 1 July 2014.

„They agreed that this time next year we will have got rid of these
charges,‰ a Brussels source said

Officials will draw up and publish detailed proposals in the next six
weeks.

They expect the death of roaming charges to typically wipe 2pc off
mobile operators‚ revenues, after several years of tightening
regulations designed to put an end to shockingly high bills for
holiday makers and business travellers. They argue that operators will
gain in the longer term by customers using their mobiles more abroad,
particularly to access the internet.
But then this goal of consolidating carriers makes you worry whether prices will decline:

Quote:
The reforms are designed to encourage radical consolidation of
European mobile network operators. A source familiar with the plans
said the European Commission believes there are far too many companies
offering services across the 27 member states and that the
fragmentation is a barrier to badly-needed investment. Without
upgrades, mobile networks will buckle under the pressure of the rapid
growth in internet traffic, it is feared.

„There are around 100 operators in Europe and only four in the US,‰
the source said. „That‚s not sustainable if we‚re going to have a
single market and investment.
Europe has less 4G mobile broadband than
Africa at the moment.‰

Consolidation is not the aim. The aim is a single market, but if it
means we get fewer, stronger operators, that‚s good.‰

With no roaming fees, officials believe the single market will mean
foreign operators will be able to compete for British customers, and
vice-versa. They are likely to form airline-style alliances that will
lead to mergers, it is hoped.
Of course prices charged by operators across the EU vary greatly. It would be great if carriers like TIM and Wind, which offer great prices for data and good networks, were among the survivors of this carrier consolidation.

But if the operators which emerge out of this consolidation are Vodaphone, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and other similarly higher-priced carriers, then what?

I used a 25-Euro 10 GB package from TIM during a 2-week trip in Italy last week. No longer unlimited but with that much data, I often used it in hotels because the speeds were better and the hotels were blocking certain network services. For instance, I couldn't use VPN at one hotel but I could use it with TIM.
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 15-06-2013, 13:09

This certainly good news for those that live and travel within the EU. No need to try to hunts down an international sim or even a local sim, especially on very short trips.


Phones: ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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NFH (Offline)
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Default 17-06-2013, 08:35

Based on the European Commission's plans and comments, it is possible that it will cost the same to make a call to a mobile or fixed line anywhere within the EU; O2 Slovakia already does this. It would be nice if the country of one's mobile number no longer has any financial significance and becomes merely the personal choice of the user, i.e. with which country they want to associate themselves. This would be akin to North America whereby consumers choose mobile numbers solely based on the area code with which they want to be associated.

Assuming that it will cost the same to use a SIM card throughout the EU, it will be particularly attractive to have a prepaid SIM card issued in the UK:
   
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Default 21-06-2013, 17:59

The big difference with the US is that for the most part the cell phone companies are national - a California user travelling 2500 miles to New York is still utilizing the same carrier.

Vodafone in Europe seems to be the closest to this - the various Vodafones in various European countries do seem to have the best roaming plans for Europe.

Another issue could be the ID laws in the various EU countries could be undercut by this. Right now, in Italy one needs to show a passport and tax ID to get a SIM. In Spain, one needs to show one's passport. There are probably other examples, and the trend seems to be towards more ID requirments.

Then you have the UK where you can buy a SIM card and never show any ID to anyone. One can buy a SIM in the UK an use it in Italy, but there are roaming charges so this is not a practical solution for an Italian who doesn't want to show ID to obtain a SIM. However, if anyone can buy a SIM in the UK and use it in Italy with no roaming charges at all, then Italy's ID system is undercut - just buy a UK SIM off of ebay, and you can use it in Italy with no roaming charges.




Quote:
Originally Posted by NFH View Post
Based on the European Commission's plans and comments, it is possible that it will cost the same to make a call to a mobile or fixed line anywhere within the EU; O2 Slovakia already does this. It would be nice if the country of one's mobile number no longer has any financial significance and becomes merely the personal choice of the user, i.e. with which country they want to associate themselves. This would be akin to North America whereby consumers choose mobile numbers solely based on the area code with which they want to be associated.

Assuming that it will cost the same to use a SIM card throughout the EU, it will be particularly attractive to have a prepaid SIM card issued in the UK:
   
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NFH (Offline)
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Default 21-06-2013, 18:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronwi View Post
Another issue could be the ID laws in the various EU countries could be undercut by this. Right now, in Italy one needs to show a passport and tax ID to get a SIM. In Spain, one needs to show one's passport. There are probably other examples, and the trend seems to be towards more ID requirments.

Then you have the UK where you can buy a SIM card and never show any ID to anyone. One can buy a SIM in the UK an use it in Italy, but there are roaming charges so this is not a practical solution for an Italian who doesn't want to show ID to obtain a SIM. However, if anyone can buy a SIM in the UK and use it in Italy with no roaming charges at all, then Italy's ID system is undercut - just buy a UK SIM off of ebay, and you can use it in Italy with no roaming charges.
Most of the ID requirements were introduced in order to prevent anonymous use by criminals, particularly terrorists. If a terrorist wants to use a UK SIM card in Italy or Spain, he's not going to worry about roaming charges!

But apart from potential criminal use, these proposed changes should give the UK a competitive advantage over operators in many other European countries. The only impediment is the currency, as consumers in the Eurozone may find it unattractive to have to pay in sterling.
   
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ronwi (Offline)
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Default 21-06-2013, 20:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by NFH View Post
Most of the ID requirements were introduced in order to prevent anonymous use by criminals, particularly terrorists. If a terrorist wants to use a UK SIM card in Italy or Spain, he's not going to worry about roaming charges!

But apart from potential criminal use, these proposed changes should give the UK a competitive advantage over operators in many other European countries. The only impediment is the currency, as consumers in the Eurozone may find it unattractive to have to pay in sterling.
But, the UK operators might not want that business - it would likely not be an economic proposition for Tmobile UK for someone in Italy to buy a cheap UK Tmobile SIM and use it solely to make intra-Italy calls on Wind.
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 23-06-2013, 08:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronwi View Post
Vodafone in Europe seems to be the closest to this - the various Vodafones in various European countries do seem to have the best roaming plans for Europe.
It depends on people's likely usage. The previous Passport option had a connection fee per call, which for a series of mainly short calls would add up quickly to more expensive than the Eurotariff, but worked out ok for a long family call in the evening.

Contract users now still have their home bundle available and pay a daily fee on the first use of the day. That seems reasonable to some of them, and perhaps they can't be convinced that it might be worth a look around if their use is fairly modest.

So for instance I've been with friends who have spent £60 for the last 3 weeks, OK for some but more than necessary for the less intense users, while I spent about £4 on a mixture of VoIP over WiFi and data and calls on a Toggle SIM, including that I could check all the daily and overall scores of the event, plus my emails, and some weather and news websites, for 3 pence of mobile data rather than 3 quid.
   
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Default 11-09-2013, 21:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronwi View Post
The big difference with the US is that for the most part the cell phone companies are national - a California user travelling 2500 miles to New York is still utilizing the same carrier.
Actually, the EU countries beat the US to nationwide carriers by more than 10 years. It's just that there is not quite yet a United States of Europe. What they are talking about is the equivalent of traveling from Toronto to San José, Costa Rica with no roaming.
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NFH (Offline)
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Default 12-09-2013, 09:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
Actually, the EU countries beat the US to nationwide carriers by more than 10 years. It's just that there is not quite yet a United States of Europe. What they are talking about is the equivalent of traveling from Toronto to San José, Costa Rica with no roaming.
EU countries have never had regional networks. In some cases, new networks have had coverage confined to a particular region within a country, but this has only been temporary while they rolled out their network nationally.

There is no company which yet has coverage throughout the whole of the EU. The most likely to achieve this are:
  • Vodafone - British company
  • Orange - owned by France Télécom but originally a British brand
  • O2 - owned by Telefonica (Spanish incumbent ex-monopoly) but originally a British brand
  • T-Mobile - part of Deutsche Telekom
Some other companies which already cover several EU countries are:
  • 3 - Hong Kong company
  • TeliaSonera - Swedish company
   
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Default 20-06-2013, 13:45

It's about time, even though the costs for roaming have been brought down it's still insane how much they are allowed to sell it for.

Use of internet should be everyone's right by now.
   
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