European travellers will pay the same for calls and data usage from within the EU as they do in the UK by next summer.
People should be able to use their phones across Europe at no extra cost, owing to an EU commissioner vote to fast-track plans. This is part of wider plans to create a single telecoms market where barriers are significantly reduced, resulting in the transformation of the European mobile industry by 2015.
Critics are holding roaming charges responsible for the lack of competition in the market. A cap on fees has already been introduced to aid this but steps still need to be made so that international operators can share infrastructure, allowing them to invest in new infrastructure and lower prices.
Intouch Advance’s CEO, Simon Pollard, said:
“These welcomed changes will provide significantly reduced costs for our customers and the ability for us to control costs on their behalf.
“Pace Ltd are a valued client of ours and many of their employees travel globally. We have continually worked with them to gain the most appropriate and cost effective bolt-ons in order to minimise spend on international calls and data. Scrapping roaming fees should reduce their costs considerably.
“The changes will bring prices in line so that we have far more control over costs. Pricing parity across Europe will allow us to compete more effectively and outside of the UK.
“We are dedicated to continually improving our customer’s experience and this proposed change will allow us to achieve this through increased cost control.”
The proposals have been pushed forward in time for the EU elections in May next year and plans are in place for them to come into action by the start of July, although it is unconfirmed as to whether European-wide telephone numbers and services are included in the plans.
There are around 100 operators in Europe and only four in the UK. Critics view this as unsustainable if we are to have a single market and investment; the aim of which is not consolidation but stronger operators. There is also talk of having one EU telecommunications regulator for each member country, rather than 27.