European Union (EU) commissioner for digital agenda Neelie Kroes said yesterday that the EU plans to usher in new rules governing the telecoms market that will look to reduce mobile roaming charges by encouraging cross-border competition. In a speech to the European parliament, Ms Kroes said: ‘In a true single market, there are no artificial roaming charges … it’s irritating, it’s unfair, it belongs to the past’. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the EU commissioner went on to say that the EU is looking to foster an environment ‘where companies face the same competitive pressure to push down roaming prices as they do at home on their own network’.
It is understood that details of the new proposals will be published in July or August and will be ready to be implemented in early September – later than previous announcements on the matter. ‘I am putting forward an incremental but immediate approach: improving the model, to get the best out of the current framework,’ Ms Kroes said. The new proposals include plans on how best to allocate precious radio spectrum that is currently being consumed as a result of the rapid rise in popularity of smartphones, tablets and other devices. The EU commissioner says that it will look at the feasibility of introducing a more consistent approach to licence terms and conditions, including licence duration and block sizes, in order to make it easier for companies to run mobile networks in multiple countries.