Industry Committee backs cheaper mobile roaming rates

Wholesale roaming service suppliers have cut prices to match the EU price cap, but must now try harder to compete below it, said the Industry Committee on Tuesday. It backed new rules which from June 2012 could enable retail clients to buy roaming services from suppliers other than their home service suppliers and help alternative suppliers to enter the market. They would also cap retail data roaming charges for the first time, and also set lower roaming price caps for calls and SMS texts.

In its 2010 Digital Agenda for Europe, the Commission pledged to bring cross-border roaming tariffs into line with domestic prices by 2015, in line with Parliament’s requests. The current legislation capping roaming charges for phone calls and SMS messaging, at both wholesale and retail levels, expires in June 2012.