Roaming fees in the EU will soon be no more, amid reports that concerted efforts are being made to “fast track” new regulations to prevent networks from charging extra for using mobiles in the continent.
According to The Telegraph, 27 European Commissioners have voted in Brussels in support of reforms to come into effect as early as July 1st 2014.
“They agreed that this time next year we will have got rid of these charges,” said a source in Brussels, adding that the European Commission is convinced that the market is too disjointed due to an oversaturation of mobile providers in EU member states, which is said to be harming fresh investments.
“There are around 100 operators in Europe and only four in the US. That’s not sustainable if we’re going to have a single market and investment. Europe has less 4G mobile broadband than Africa at the moment,” said the insider.
“Consolidation is not the aim. The aim is a single market, but if it means we get fewer, stronger operators, that’s good.”
With a unified market, British mobile operators will be able to target customers in the EU, and vice-versa. It is also expected to benefit businesses that operate across the EU.
However, to ensure networks aren’t badly affected by the loss of roaming revenues, provision will be made to streamline operating in the EU by synchronising national sales of airwaves.
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