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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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