European mobile networks are facing another threat to their revenues from the European Commission as the Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes said that roaming fees shouldn’t be reduced, but scrapped entirely.
“I want us to show citizens that the EU is relevant to their lives. That we made the digital rules catch up with their legitimate expectations,” Ms Kroes said in a speech.
“I want you to be able to go back to your constituents and say that you were able to end mobile roaming costs.”
Neelie Kroes has long campaigned to lower roaming fees, and as the former head of the EU’s telecoms regulatory body, she pushed through regulations that saw roaming fees slashed within Europe.
She has campaigned for a single market in telecoms and suggested that scrapping roaming fees could be proposed within a year.
“It is my belief that we can deliver such a package – this full, final, package – around Easter 2014. Imagine that.” she said in the speech.
Although bad news for the telecoms networks, the lower fees would be welcomed by consumers, and be a rare populist move from the EU which is often seen as dealing with arcane business matters that don’t really affect consumers.
Countering her call for regulations banning roaming fees, The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) said that it believes that the Single Market should not be imposed through additional regulatory obligations. The Single Market should be driven by market forces, enabled by an investment friendly and supportive regulatory framework, the trade group added.