EU launches website on costs of mobile roaming

4th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2005, BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Tuesday said it had set up a new Internet website on roaming tariffs offered by mobile phone operators to help consumers save money when using cell phones abroad.

4 October 2005

BRUSSELS  - The European Commission on Tuesday said it had set up a new Internet website on roaming tariffs offered by mobile phone operators to help consumers save money when using cell phones abroad.

The site provides information on rates from mobile network operators in all 25 E.U. states, including links to their websites, tips on how to get the best deals, plus contacts in case of difficulties or complaints.

Officials said such information would help consumers keep control of the high costs of using roaming tariffs in Europe.

"At a time when we have seen in Europe so much progress in other telecommunications services, the cost of using your mobile phone abroad is hard to believe," said E.U. information technology chief Viviane Reding.

The new website also aims at pushing competition in the industry and at encouraging fairer and clearer prices to the consumers, Reding said.

The Commission has long complained about high roaming tariffs in Europe and said there must be greater transparency in the sector.

All 25 national telecom regulators are cooperating in the project. They recently announced additional action on tariff transparency for international roaming under the auspices of the European Regulators Group (ERG) which is tasked with ensuring consistency of regulation across Europe.

'International roaming' allows mobile phone subscribers to use their cellphones while abroad. But tariffs are high because foreign network operators charge a wholesale rate to the home operator, who then charges the mobile phone user.

The Commission launched an anti-trust inquiry in into the high retail and wholesale roaming prices in Europe in 2000. This has led to proceedings against mobile operators in Germany and in Britain for excessive wholesale international roaming tariffs.

The new EU website: http://europa.eu.int/information_society/roaming

DPA

Subject: German news

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