Mobile roaming charges: Operators should cut their prices before the Summer

MEPs welcome proposal for an EU regulation

Brussels, 28 March 2006 -- Conservative MEPs have broadly welcomed a European Commission proposal to publish a regulation intended to cut mobile phone roaming charges. Malcolm Harbour MEP, Conservative Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, said he hoped the action being taken by the European Commission will push mobile phone operators to reduce prices before the summer when many British holidaymakers will venture abroad.

The European Commission has revamped a website providing consumers with information about roaming charges across the EU. With information at their fingertips, Sir Robert believes consumers will vote with their wallets and opt for the cheapest roaming fees which will ultimately increase competition between operators and push prices down.

Sir Robert also supported European Commission proposals that roaming charges could be eliminated altogether when receiving calls whilst travelling abroad in the EU. He argued the elimination of such charges was a positive step towards completing the European single market and bringing the benefits of a wider market place to British consumers.

He said:

"I hope the EU's proposal will push operators into price cuts before the Summer season when holidaymakers take their mobile abroad.

"An EU regulation will promote strong market competition particularly if consumers are fully informed about which operators are charging exceptional amounts.

"I had hoped it could be left to market forces to bring down roaming prices but most network operators across Europe have been unwilling to change their ways so it's time for us to act."

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