All mobile phone chat, text and data roaming fees across Europe might be due for the chop soon, according to a leaked draft proposal from the European Commission that aims to standardise costs across the EU.
The draft document, which is expected to be published fully next week, wants to: "guarantee common high levels of consumer protection across the union, including measures to gradually end mobile roaming surcharges."
The plan would force mobile networks to charge the same rate to tourists as offered to locals, meaning there'd effectively be one flat rate for using your phone anywhere across the EU member states. And the mobile networks aren't happy with the possible end of their "bill shock" cash cow, claiming a ban on inflated roaming fees would cost them a total of around £5.9bn. Poor them.
There may be sweeteners on offer for those phone companies who do agree to quickly phase out roaming fees from 2014, though, with the proposal suggesting that networks who agree to drop fees might be allowed to stop offering customers a choice of roaming partner when abroad. [Guardian]
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