Tag: global roaming

Abolition of global roaming will not mean cheap calls

PhoneThe abolition of roaming charges within the EU does not automatically lead to lower calling charges or reduced expenses for companies, according to telecom consultancy A&B Groep.
The outfit said that calling abroad were no cheaper, and was sometimes even more expensive. The costs for out-of-bundle calls increased, new subscriptions were more expensive, and companies are charged higher fees due to complex contracts.
Roaming charges are still applied in other European countries, calling from Switzerland, for example, has even become more expensive than before.

Under the title ‘Roam Like at Home’, the EU has put an end to the high fees charged by mobile providers for voice, SMS and internet use abroad, also known as roaming.

However, A&B Groep said that while abolition of roaming charges is a step in the right direction, it is not enough. It says that companies will not be able to save as much in costs as previously thought.

It was implied in recent months that roaming would be free of charge, but practice proves this to be a false implication, the outfit said
Ron Rijkenberg, CEO of A&B Groep said: “Why did the European Commission avoid dealing with this ‘real abolition’ of telecom country boundaries?” He clarifies his question with a practical example: “There is a person in the Netherlands. His colleague in Belgium uses his or her mobile telephone to call that person’s mobile telephone. The call is charged a higher fee than when the Belgian colleague first crosses the border with the Netherlands and then calls from the Netherlands. That roaming call has a lower charge than the international call.”

As of today, people in another EU country can use their standard bundle to call and use the internet. The current EU packages – as options in business telecom contracts – are voided by these new regulations.

Jorg Wiedijk said: “The perception that everything is now cheaper will lead to increased usage of data. The use of such data will now also be charged on to the national allowance. The data package limits are reached sooner, because of which the out-of-bundle charges will be charged when those limits are exceeded. Those rates have been drastically increased over the past months.”

Companies with existing contracts always receive an adjusted fee plan, as a result of which people will likely have to pay much more.

Also, optimisation of telecom contracts is not always possible during the term of the contract. The outside calling fee package charges can, therefore, lead to an increase in costs.

EU waters down roaming charges kill off

european-commissionEuropean regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges and have proposed net neutrality rules allowing privileged access in some cases.

It means that carriers will still be allowed to charge more to use mobiles abroad.

Also worrying are net neutrality rules would bar discrimination in internet access, but allow prioritisation of some services.

This is a watering down of laws first floated in 2013, observers said.

Instead of ending data roaming charges as was promised, the European Commission has recommended that operators be allowed to add surcharges to their domestic rates.

The proposals were said to be “transitional” and mindful of “wholesale costs” incurred by the mobile operators.

In other words it is only temporary and there is nothing to worry about. But, according to Ovum analyst Matthew Howett, they would amount to the continuation of data roaming charges until at least 2018, when European lawmakers would reconsider whether or not to ban them.

He told the BBC that the watering down happened because operators had already introduced more reasonable charges.

The proposals also covered net neutrality rules. Originally the EU sought to ensure that internet users could get online however they wanted and view any legal content they wanted, free from discrimination by their service providers.

Now it seems that there is a provision for specialised services “other than internet access services” to be prioritised if they required high quality internet access to function.

It is not clear what these specialised services are. More optimistic typeshope that it is connected cars and other elements of the internet of things.

The European Commission specified, however, that service providers would have to ensure a good standard of internet access for consumers if they did prioritise such services. This could mean that streaming video content could require users to shell out more cash.