Neelie Kroes: A better deal for roaming

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The European Commission has decided to propose a fundamentally new approach to tackling the very high prices paid by consumers and businesses when they use mobile networks in another EU country. We are proposing a long-term structural solution to get to the root cause of roaming rip-offs, namely the lack of competition. By giving mobile users more choice, and by making it easier for alternative operators to gain access to the roaming market. For voice, for text, and for data. Just as structural measures to increase competition in air travel have brought down air fares and increased choice very substantially, I am confident that structural measures to increase competition on the roaming market will ensure customers get a significantly better deal in terms of prices and choice of services. In other words, these proposed structural measures would be the most effective and most sustainable way of reaching the Digital Agenda target of ensuring that the difference between roaming and national tariffs should approach zero by 2015. Until these structural measures make their impact on prices, we need to give consumers a safety net. We are therefore proposing to introduce retail price caps for data roaming and to keep in place retail price caps for voice calls and text messages. These price caps will come down over time. Within a few years, our structural solutions to boost competition will kick in to bring prices below the level of the caps, bringing sustainable benefits to European consumers and businesses. Here to read more.

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