A deal on new EU rules on mobile phone roaming, concluded last night between negotiators from the European Parliament and Council, today received the go-ahead from the Council (1). The deal will lead to lower charges for mobile phone users when roaming across border and, as such, is welcome but the Greens expressed regret that a comprehensive solution to bring down roaming costs was not possible. Commenting on the compromise, Green industry spokesperson Philippe Lamberts said:
"This deal will reduce prices for mobile phone users when they are using their phones cross-border, whether for calls, texts or accessing the internet and, as such, is welcome. There is no logical reason for the continuing exorbitant costs of mobile phone roaming. The artificial difference between domestic and roaming prices remains far too high and we regret that it was not possible to ensure more realistic prices for European consumers.
"There was clearly scope for much greater price reductions in terms of internet and data roaming, which this legislation deals with for the first time. The Greens regret that wholesale data roaming prices will only fall to €0.05/MB by 2014."
Greens/EFA consumer affairs spokesperson Christian Engström added:
"Today's outcome will bring a clear reduction in roaming prices for mobile phone users but we regret that we will have to wait for another review to finally end the outrageous roaming rip off."