The European Parliament has capped roaming voice and data charges within the EU. They have said they plan to remove them completely by the end of 2015.
The question is will this really happen?
A sceptical soul would suggest that the EU often talks tough, but then fails to go through with things in the end. Usually because the lobbyists get their way or because someone there actually looks at the big picture and realises there could be a number of previously unforeseen consequences if they do go through with their plans. At Amiigo, we believe this could be something that is impacted by both and we’re of the mind that we’ll believe this when we see it.
Back in March we wrote about the impact this will have on the mobile operators and so we believe they will do everything they can to stop the complete removal of roaming charges and whatever they can to lessen any more caps that are applied. After all, this amounts to £billions potentially being wiped off their books.
Which leads me nicely into a bit about unforeseen consequences. If the mobile operators don’t have this money “lying around”, who is going to pay for the investments needed to keep improving the mobile infrastructure? I can guarantee it won’t be the EU parliament.
As both consumers and businesses travel more, they want access to their information, to their business data and to their social networks. They want, and need, to be able to talk to whoever without incurring huge charges, but they also need to do it at the time that makes most sense – and without having to hunt down a public wifi solution.
Something else to consider here is the impact of competition. Now, don’t get me wrong, we aren’t suggesting there shouldn’t be any competition against the mobile operators. We want there to be competition but only in a way that will ensure users get the service they need. Making a carrier have to carry calls from whichever operator, without being able to charge them for it, would mean that any Tom, Dick or Harry could set up a mobile company and have the luxury of the investment that has already been made, without having to put their hands in their own pockets. We think that’s a tad unfair – don’t you?
Anyway, that’s enough for now. As you know we love to see anything that reduces the costs of international and roaming calls, but we’ll believe the EU when they actually deliver on this one.