Wednesday, 16 May 2007

EU Mobile Roaming Regulation is set for Success

Yesterday, we reported on the failed negotiations for EU price cuts on the mobile roaming charges. Today – that failure seems to have turned to success.

On 15 May, the Council Presidency and a delegation of MEPs have reached an agreement on cutting roaming fees within the EU. Under the compromise, “the average wholesale charge (excl. VAT) that a "visited" operator can levy on a roaming customer’s "home" operator for the provision of roaming calls will be capped at EUR 0.30 per minute.” They agreed that making a mobile call abroad should cost €0.49 per minute and this price would fall to €0.46 in the second year and to €0.43 in the third year. It would cost €0.24 per minute to receive a call while abroad and this price would fall to €0.22 in the second year and to €0.19 in the third year.

Furthermore, under the new deal, according to EUpolitix, “customers will have three months to decide whether to switch to the new tariff, after which people with a standard contract – without specialised roaming tariffs – will be moved automatically to the new fees.”

Now, the new deal must be approved by the European Parliament in the next Plenary Session, possibly on 22 May, and must be endorsed by the Council. In this manner, the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council will be able, during their meeting on 7 June, to formally adopt this first reading agreement. Hence, if both the European Parliament and the Ministers formally approve the deal, the law will come into force in July.

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