The complete abolition of roaming charges within the EU from June 2017 depends on a substantial reform of wholesale roaming markets. Last Tuesday, the European Parliament adopted its position and demanded an ambitiously low wholesale cap on roaming charges of €4/GB to live up to expectations. However, several Member States are planning to backtrack on this promise at Friday’s Council meeting and to sabotage the abolition of roaming charges.
Viviane Reding, Member of the European Parliament and former Vice-President of the European Commission, insists: “The law is clear: roaming charges must be abolished by summer 2017. Nevertheless, several Member States are attempting to dilute this unambiguous decision and to undermine competition within Europe. The average retail price in Europe is below € 3/GB, Member States on the contrary would like to set the wholesale cap at € 10/GB. When wholesale prices are higher than retail prices, however, competition will collapse and retail prices are likely to rise as a result.”
Viviane Reding, who has been leading the fight against roaming charges for more than a decade, is outraged: “The backroom dealings between national ministers and telecom operators are a disgrace. I am calling upon ministers to act in the interests of consumers and to keep their promise on the abolition of roaming charges.”
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States