Commission offers balanced approach on Roaming

Caspary MEP: Updated regulatory approach will help counter roaming rip-off

Caspary MEP: Updated regulatory approach will help counter roaming rip-off

Daniel Caspary (EPP-ED) welcomes the updated proposal of the European Commission on high roaming prices: “The cap on wholesale prices is the right way to go about the problem of high prices for using your mobile phone abroad”, declared Caspary after the proposal for a new directive was introduced in Brussels today. “Regarding retail charges we should, however, let the market have its way since this is a sine qua non for efficient competition. In the long run, this will guarantee the best prices for customers”, said the member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, which will play a leading role in the current legislative process. Caspary also welcomed the limitation of passive costs: “The high prices customers currently have to pay for receiving a call abroad are not to be tolerated any longer”, said Caspary.

Commissioner Viviane Reding has introduced the new regulatory approach today in Brussles after clearing it first with the other 25 European Commissioners. The new directive is supposed to cut tariffs for using a mobile phone abroad significantly. There will be a price cap of 51 Cents per minute for all calls to the customer’s home country while calls to the current location will be charged by a maximum of 34 Cents. The costs for receiving a call will not be abolished altogether but will be limited to a 16 to 17 Cents maximum. A yearly revision shall react to price movements in the market and thus guarantee the success of the approach. With the current proposal the commission has reacted to criticism and abandoned the exclusive orientation on the “home price principle”, under which every tariff would be bound to prices at home.

“The mobile operators would be well advised to use the time we need to deal with the Commission’s proposal in Parliament and the Council”, said Daniel Caspary who would prefer an effective market over regulation any time: “In the ideal case the operators would take matters into their own hands and avoid regulation by the state”, said the MEP. “The recently announced price cuts are a step into the right direction. Now, further steps have to follow for us to abandon the path we have been forced to take”, said Caspary. The original proposal by Mrs. Reding had drawn criticism, especially from the big operators in the mobile telecom market who are dominating the whole sale prices. The smaller operators had shown sympathy for the proposal.