The European Commission is warning consumers about the high cost of using their mobile phones while abroad.
Known as "international roaming charges", these prices have been for some time
already a concern both to the Commission and national regulators.
In spite of first signs of movement in the markets, the Commission is not
satisfied that the prices to be paid by consumers already reflect the result of
effective competition. The Commission therefore will take measures to enhance
the transparency of international mobile roaming charges to allow consumers the
choice of the best offer.
"Using your mobile phone while on holiday abroad can still lead to very
unpleasant surprises", warns Viviane Reding, the Commissioner for Information
Society and Media. "I am convinced that substantially more progress from the
industry is both necessary and possible. We need to get to a stage where
consumers can benefit from better deals than they are currently getting."
To enhance competition on the international mobile roaming markets and increase
price transparency for consumers, the Commission will start publishing, from
autumn 2005 onwards, a special website listing samples of international roaming
retail tariffs of operators in the 25 EU Member States.
The Commission expects such transparency measures to encourage operators to
offer better and fairer prices to their customers.