The vice president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda has complained that roaming charges have not fallen enough, and has called for greater investment in broadband infrastructure.
Neelie Kroes has regularly called for lower mobile phone roaming tariffs, and has now requested that more be done to improve the way mobile operators charge users for moving around European nation states.
The EC has just closed its consultation on the roaming issue and is still analysing the responses.
Eighty organisations participated in the EC survey, and Kroes said that it is already clear that many people feel that roaming charges are not competitive, particularly when compared against domestic pricing.
"Voice roaming prices within Europe are still more than three times the level of domestic charges. Average charges for roaming offers other than the Euro-tariff are even higher. And for data roaming the position is even grimmer, " said Kroes.
Wholesale data roaming charges have fallen significantly, but consumers are not seeing that matched in lower retail prices, which is the true measure of competition, according to Kroes.
"Of course incentives to compete on roaming prices are not as strong as the pressures on domestic prices. But that is not a justification for the current rip-offs," she said.
The closing of the public consultation had given the EC food for thought, including the suggestion that it could cap pricing options or force structural changes at operators. Whatever is decided, it appears that price regulation is a certainty.
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