"SMS shouldn't cost more than 6 cents"
The consumer rights organisation Test-Aankoop says that mobile phone rates in Belgium are still 3-4 times higher than in neighbouring countries.
According to the organisation a text message should not cost more than 6 cents.
There are a total of 11 million mobile phones in use in Belgium. This is more than the entire population, which is just over 10 million. People living in Belgium are paying a lot to use their mobile phones, too much according to the consumer rights organisation Test-Aankoop.
Out of a comparative study of prices in 8 European countries the Netherlands is almost always the cheapest.
Depending on the type of mobile phone subscription, Belgium’s prices always seem to exceed those of the neighbouring countries. "The reason for this is the absence of competition, a lack of transparency and the failure of government to take action," says Test-Aankoop. The consumer rights organisation criticises the federal mobile phone regulator BIPT of inaction.
"Europe has set a maximum price of 13 cents for text messages from abroad, while the Belgians are paying up to 15 cents for SMS within Belgium," points out Test-Aankoop. "Sometimes it's cheaper to go across the border to send a text," says the consumer rights organisation.
Test-Aankoop is demanding a code of conduct for mobile phone operators to correct the situation. A couple of years ago a similar code of conduct was introduced for the energy sector and this was to the benefit of the consumer.