Non-Euros to Subsidise EU Roaming

Following the decision by the European Parliament on Thursday to cut roaming costs by 70%, a survey has shown networks will recoup the losses by charging non-EU travellers extra.
Mobile phone subscribers should pay €0.40 per minute for using phone in an EU country outside of their home network, and €0.15 to receive a call while abroad, the committee decided this week.  Prices currently start at around €1 per minute to call, and between some countries the price is as much as €3 per minute.

Austrian MP Paul Rübig said "Roaming charges are set to tumble. This is a major success for European consumers and a clear signal to Europe’s telecom industry,"

However, not everyone is as happy.

"At a time when Europe is trying to stimulate investment and innovation, these inappropriate and inconsistent proposals are becoming increasingly removed from the economic realities of the mobile market. I urge the Parliament and the Council not to risk introducing distortions into the roaming market that will remove incentives to compete and penalize some customers." said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA.

Networks will be looking to non-EU roamers to cover the costs. A study by Informa Telecoms & Media, has found roaming price levels for non-Europeans travelling in the EU are likely to rise following the European Parliament’s go ahead.

"Some of the highest wholesale prices are levied by operators in developing markets for whom inbound roaming is a key source of income," said Mark Newman, co-author of the report. "In India, for example, wholesale roaming prices are up to 30-times more expensive than the retail price that Indian operators charge their own customers for making the same call."

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