Germany proposes larger roaming cap

24 Apr 2007

A spokesman for the German economics ministry said yesterday that his country proposes a cap on mobile phone roaming charges of EUR0.60 (USD0.81) a minute for outgoing and EUR0.30 for incoming calls in the European Union. This cap is larger than the EUR0.50 and EUR0.25 that Germany had previously recommended, and the EUR0.40 and EUR0.15 suggested by the European parliament’s industry committee earlier this month. Customers have to pay roaming charges when making or receiving calls abroad. The committee’s proposed fee limits have irked the telecoms industry, which sees the push to limit retail prices as an unprecedented government control. One study conducted last year suggests that operators could lose EUR4.3 billion in revenues due to the caps. Aoife Sexton, acting head of regulatory affairs of the GSM Association, which represents more than 700 cellphone operators around the world, warned that subscribers could face higher domestic charges if the European Union forces telecom companies to limit the costs of international calls.