The European Commission has criticised telecoms firms and governments for the continuing differences in mobile phone costs charged to consumers and businesses depending on where they are in Europe.
European Union digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said that more work needs to be done to provide citizens and businesses with access to high-speed internet services, and that European countries have been slow to apply rules designed to make the market more unified.
"The limited progress towards a true single market is disappointing. Member states need to do more to ensure that telecoms rules are properly implemented, and that the necessary investments in innovative services are made for the benefit of all 500 million European consumers," she said.
The EC's annual report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market claimed that major price differences still exist because of inconsistent regulation between countries.
Mobile call charges are six times more expensive per minute in Malta than they are in Latvia, for example.
This is partly because governments choose to regulate telecoms markets differently, meaning that businesses still face fragmented markets and will determine prices based on each country's competitive landscape.
The EC said that the newly established Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) will help tackle the remaining divergences, and ensure that member states implement the EU rules consistently.
BEREC was established when the EU voted through its latest telecoms rules in December after two years of debate on how the EU Telecoms Rules of 2002 should be reworked.
BEREC is made up of the heads of the 27 national telecom regulators and support staff in Europe, and aims to help regulators co-ordinate cross-border policies.
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