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Majority of EU Consumers Believe Mobile Broadband Data Roaming is too Pricey

Posted: 15th Feb, 2011 By: MarkJ
EU Data Roaming RulesA new survey conducted by the European Commission (EC) has revealed how only a minority (19%) of EU consumers think that the price of Mobile Broadband data roaming within Europe is "fair", with most regarding such costs as being unreasonably high. Overall almost three quarters of Europeans are worried about the cost of using their mobile phone when travelling in the EU (data and voice).

EC Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, said:

"Telecom companies must listen to their customers. Consumers feel there is still much room for improvement, particularly for data roaming. As I promised in the Digital Agenda for Europe, I intend to ensure better roaming solutions for European citizens and businesses."

The special Eurobarometer survey on roaming questioned over 26,500 people between August 2010 and September 2010 in the 27 EU Member States. It also revealed that 48% of European mobile phone users have travelled at least once in the last 5 years and just 10% report using Internet services while abroad.

eu_data_roaming_survey_2011.gif

Despite an estimated 12% decline in travel, overall volumes of calls received and SMS sent while abroad in the EU have still managed to grow over the past two years. For example, data (internet) roaming services grew by more than 40% in volume in 2009. Meanwhile 72% of mobile users continue to limit their mobile voice calls while abroad because they are worried about the costs.

The EU has already made a number of new measures to prevent mobile broadband bill shocks while roaming outside of the UK (or your own home country), including lower wholesale data prices and new usage caps/warnings.

Many still regard such efforts as being insufficient to tackle the problem and as a result the EC recently began a new consultation that should, it's hoped, eventually lead to even cheaper data / internet roaming within the EU (full details).

To achieve a competitive Single Market for roaming, the Commission aims to produce a full review of the functioning of the EU roaming rules by 30th June 2011 and will assess the extent to which the objectives of the rules have been reached and whether competition is working for roaming services.
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