The quicker a phone's answered in sales, the slower it's answered in customer services - Brownridge's Law
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) is proposing to scrap mobile phone roaming charges across Europe in a bid to reform the European telecoms market.
In new legislation published on Thursday, the EC outlined its plans to boost investment in the telecoms industry and create a single European telecoms market in what it calls "the most ambitious plan in 26 years of telecoms market reform".
As expected, in the proposals the EC called for roaming charges to be scrapped across Europe. Mobile phone providers will be given two choices - to offer phone plans that apply everywhere in the European Union, or to allow their customers to opt for a separate roaming provider while travelling abroad.
This is unlikely to go down well with mobile operators, which have already voiced their disagreement. Orange and Vodafone have said that scrapping roaming fees will cost them too much financially, with Orange claiming that the proposed plans would cost it £5.9bn. However, operators have one final hope, as the EC's proposals must be approved by the 28 EU members and European lawmakers before they can be put into effect.
The EC is also proposing that incoming call charges while travelling in the EU be banned from 1 July 2014, and that operators stop charging a premium for both fixed and mobile phone calls made from one European country to another.
Net neutrality is also on the agenda, with the EC looking to ban the blocking and throttling of internet content, regardless of the cost or speed of a user's internet service. This will also mean that if consumers aren't getting the speeds that an internet service provider is advertising, they will be able to leave the contract without any hassle.
EC VP Neelie Kroes said on Thursday, "The legislation proposed today is great news for the future of mobile and internet in Europe.
"The European Commission says no to roaming premiums, yes to net neutrality, yes to investment and yes to new jobs. Fixing the telecoms sector is no longer about this one sector but about supporting the sustainable development of all sectors."
We're expecting to hear more about the EC's telecoms reform proposals later today. µ
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