The “roaming” on the radar of the European Parliament

The goal is for Parliament to reduce prices and promote competition for communications made ​​abroad.

Ms Niebler backs the two-track approach proposed by the European Commission in July 2011, i.e. to set new caps on retail prices (charged to clients) and wholesale prices (split between operators) as of 1 July 2012 on one hand, and to introduce structural measures to boost competition on the other..
One proposed “structural” solution would be to require operators to offer clients domestic and international roaming services separately, so that they are able to choose a different supplier of roaming services if they so wish, with effect from July 2014.
The new retail and wholesale price caps proposed by Mrs Niebler go beyond those proposed by the European Commission.

Reducing roaming prices
According to Tony Shortall, Director at Telage, a telecoms consultancy, the structural problem is at the wholesale level: wholesale costs are extremely high and must drop significantly.

Boosting competition
Emmanuel Forest, of Bouygues Telecom, argued that the “structural” solution, i.e. enabling clients to buy roaming services separately, would be complex and probably inefficient in terms of competition, because the costs of doing so would be higher for smaller operators.
He suggested that an alternative solution would be to oblige operators to offer customers a genuine European tariff, close to domestic prices.
However, Jacques Bonifay, of Transatel, warned that setting roaming price caps too low would reduce competition.

Transparency and consumer protection
Industry Committee rapporteur Angelika Niebler also backed an amendment proposed by Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee rapporteur Eija-Riita Korhola (EPP, FI), that would require operators to notify customers when they approach a €50 “safety cap” on roaming charges.

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