Roaming fee cuts are a smokescreen, consumer group says

IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

While mobile operators claim to be cutting the cost of roaming, their efforts are just a smoke screen and have no appreciable effect on charges overall, a European consumer rights group has said.

The lower tariffs are typically available for a limited duration, sometimes requiring payment of an additional subscription fee, and may only be cheaper for long calls made using certain networks, BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, said on Tuesday.

The fees should be capped at €0.33 (US$0.43) per minute for customers roaming outside their home country, consumer groups said . Their demand is considerably lower than the cap of €0.49 per minute proposed by the European Commission in draft legislation that could be voted by June.

Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, announced plans last February to crack down on mobile phone roaming charges, which she said were unreasonably high.

On July 12, the Commission proposed cutting by 70 percent the cost of making and receiving calls while travelling in another European Union member state, saving European consumers

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