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EU's Kroes still set on ending roaming fees


brussels bureau

EU's Kroes still set on ending roaming fees

Roaming fees in Europe should be a thing of the past by 2016, according to a proposal put forward by EU telecoms commissioner Neelie Kroes

Operators will be encouraged to form alliances that will allow customers to choose other networks when they travel.

Otherwise, firms will face wholesale caps on the price of roaming calls.

The Commission hopes this will bring an end to eye-watering phone bills racked up whilst on the road.

“At the end of the day, summer 2016, it is over, and then it is real the single market, for the telcos too,” Kroes told euronews.

Telecom firms say profits will be hit, whilst consumer groups are sceptical over whether roaming will really become history.

“We think this is a step in the right direction but the Commission’s proposal is too complex. In the end, anyway, with the current proposal, we are not seeing the end of roaming but ceilings that will decrease gradually,” said Mark Wittenburg from the pressure group OneSingleTariff.

Kroes’ proposal now will have to be approved by MEPs and EU member states before it can become law.

And it is expected to the focus of intense lobbying by the telecoms industry before that happens.

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