After almost 13 hours cooped up in talks, negotiators tasked with clinching some kind of a deal on the telecoms single market came to a breakthrough early this morning (30 June). At around two o'clock, frazzled MEPs tweeted that the marathon meeting had broken up with an agreement in hand.
The European Commission and Parliament have long been pushing for a removal of EU roaming fees. But a recent move by German Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt could bring Europe closer to phasing out costs for mobile phone users in other EU member states. EurActiv Germany reports .
Before the end of this month, Montenegro will host a meeting of communications ministers of several southeastern European countries, who will consider the possibility of reducing roaming charges in the region, following the EU’s example. EurActiv Serbia reports.
The European Commission is drafting ambitious plans to scrap mobile telephone roaming charges and to seize greater control over the radio frequency spectrum before the EU Parliament mandate ends next year, in a proposal that is likely to pitch Brussels against national interests and industry.
Members of the European Parliament pledge to stick to the lower range of their proposed price caps for roaming charges. A recent report by national regulators found that providers ’ costs for these services are likely to remain below the higher caps originally suggested by the Commission and backed by many member states.
Making a mobile phone call across European borders becomes cheaper as of today (1 July) with the entry into force of the EU's new roaming regulation. Data and text messaging are also covered by the new rules on roaming, which telecoms operators decried for being driven by a short-term political agenda.
Using a mobile phone to send text messages or surf the Web by laptop will become up to 60 percent cheaper while travelling in the European Union under price curbs adopted by the European Parliament yesterday (22 April).
Prices of mobile phone calls made between EU countries will be further lowered as of July this year, according to an agreement sealed yesterday (24 March) over the EU's so-called 'roaming regulation'. As part of the deal, however, telecoms companies will still be able to subject users to an initial charging period of 30 seconds, which should enable operators to maintain some revenue.
The European Commission proceeded with its plans to regulate tariffs in the mobile telecoms yesterday (23 September), deciding to impose price caps on text messages sent while abroad, as well as a range of regulatory measures to cut the price of mobile services for consumers.
As smartphones become more affordable and their use spreads across Europe, citizens surfing the Internet on their mobile handsets abroad are at increased risk of unexpected rocketing phone bills, warns European consumer organisation BEUC.
The European Commission is considering imposing per-second tariffs for mobile phone calls across the EU in a bid to bring down costs for consumers and boost its popularity levels. As of 30 August, Brussels will also reduce the price ceiling imposed on roaming calls, while new caps on text messages are expected too.
Text messages sent abroad will cost around 70% less by summer 2009, according to plans EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding will outline today. But the move was labelled "populist" by mobile telecoms operators, EurActiv has learned.
Price decreases for cross-border text messaging (SMS) announced by mobile phone operators are considered disappointing by the EU's Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding, who announced she is ready to impose price cuts after the 1 July deadline "unless a miracle happens".
EU telecom operators said they will not comply with the Commission's 1 July deadline to lower the prices of mobile data services across borders, such as text messaging and Internet surfing, labelling the proposed price caps "absurd".
The cost of text messaging and mobile internet use abroad must be significantly lowered by 1 July 2008 or the EU will have to introduce a mandatory price cap, warned Viviane Reding, the EU's telecoms commissioner.
With the difference between billed minutes and actual time spent on roaming phone calls typically around 20%, EU authorities have requested telecoms operators to provide the actual average charged, a move that may bring about further regulatory action.
Holidaymakers should see their mobile-phone bills reduced this summer after Parliament backed a compromise reached with member states on the disputed roaming regulation but operators said the move was driven by a "populist agenda".