back to article EU whacks first nail into mobile roaming charges' coffin

The European Commission has taken the next step towards the scheduled end of roaming charges in the European Union, securing agreement on maximum wholesale charges telcos will be able to charge each other to handle roaming subscribers. Operators will charge no more than 3.2 cents per minute of voice calls and a single cent per …

  1. Andy 97

    Fair use policy.

    The lobbyist teams have done exceptionally work.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. JLV Silver badge

    good thing fer yer telcos that y'all voted fo' secession, huh?

    sorry, grabbin me coat. couldn't resist. pure flame-bait, hence icon.

    I think, for a time at least, that you Brits need to be a tiny weensy lil bitty bitty less patronizing towards your American brethren. If you find that hard to do, grab a cold one n go watch Waldorf Salad.

    The consequences of a Trump, dire as they will probably be, might be swifter to go away than that pesky 52%'s.

    Ain't nah merkin nor a brit mahself. Hey, respect to both, but this "experts suck" thingy can get pretty dangerous if you sub "people who have a clue about a subject".

    1. Old Tom
      WTF?

      Is this supposed to make any sense?

    2. death&taxes

      @JLV

      Mmmm... that didn't really work did it.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      You'll find "this Brit", and most of the others here are quite happy to criticise all things "BRexit". We are also quite happy for Americans to do so. Indeed, I value hearing the opinions from across the pond.

      This "you aren't from this country, you have no right to criticise" is an almost uniquely American phenomena. (But fortunately, the vast majority of Americans posting here are above such insecurities)

      So.. It's a non-issue. It seems that you (as neither a Brit or an American) are just trying to stir up trouble.

      1. JLV Silver badge
        Unhappy

        >stir up trouble.

        What can I say? Guilty. I was bored with taking easy shots @ Trump, BJ and MS ;-) (Originally meant to be AC as well).

        My sentiment remains, though. While it is popular (oh, please don't deny it) to chide our American friends on this forum, it very much seems to me that Brexit is an even bigger own goal than Trump, with longer term effects and with weirder motivations than Rep voters deciding to just stick to their party come what may.

        So... people who live in glass houses...

        I also guess I was surprised at Parliament's article 50 approval vote margin.

        I am suitably chastised, dear Sirs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: >stir up trouble.

          "I also guess I was surprised at Parliament's article 50 approval vote margin."

          The MPs are well off. Do not be surprised that they don't worry too much about the (our) future. Easier and safer to follow the whip.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: >stir up trouble.

          While it is popular (oh, please don't deny it) to chide our American friends on this forum, it very much seems to me that Brexit is an even bigger own goal than Trump, with longer term effects and with weirder motivations than Rep voters deciding to just stick to their party come what may

          Thanks for your nice reply, and for what it's worth, I do agree that the critisicm on this site often goes beyond critiscising something going on in America, and into anti-Americanism.

          My point is that your point would be more relevent if Brits were moaning about American BRexit criticism.

          The American criticisms of anything Brit are actually quite uncommon here - maybe they think it's rude. But I say "Bring it on!". I treat commentators on their words, not their country. I'll either agree, or disagree, but it your argument isn't just an illinformed rant or troll, I will (try to) argues respectively, not pull the 'go away you anti-brit forinner" card.

          As for BRexit, yep, disaster. Eu roaming, cross-border media copyright harmonisation (when it comes) and future human rights are all going to be denied to us now. It's the tip of the iceberg.

          As for Brexit vs Trump.. Who knows? BRexit is a virtual foregone disasterous conclusion. Trump, could continue to fumble his way through whilst the judges/lawyers/protestrts rein him in. He'll probably be sacked, impeached, or leave out of boredom before 4 years, and it's possible that the damnage would be repairable by the American politicians telling the world "Sorry, we had a mad man in power. He's gone now" (they have no objection to laying into someone who no longer has power and influence) - on the other hand, Trump could fuck things up 'Yuuuuuge" in a way that would make BRexit irrelevant.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue the Mobile companies

    lobbying for this to be revoked when we get BREXIT sorted.

    They obviously won't want to lose out on all that lovely roaming revenue when we leave the EU.

    Just one of the costs of leaving.

    I'm sure there will be a lot more to appear in the next two years.... £80B contract cancellation charges perhaps?

    1. AndyS

      Re: Cue the Mobile companies

      > £80B contract cancellation charges

      In 2 years, that will be worth, what, about £3.20 in today's money? Sounds like a pretty good deal.

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Cue the Mobile companies

      They won't have to lobby for it to be revoked, if May's blather about leaving the single market comes to fruition.

      It works like this:

      May claims that the existing acquis - all the regulations, laws, customs and the like of the EU and the single market - will be translated into UK law in the "great repeal bill" - a farce on its face - on the assumption that it would allow the UK to continue to operate under the same regulatory regime as the EU, until such time as those laws are updated and replaced.

      However, when the UK leaves the EU, any mutual recognition of those regulations etc ceases. Instantly. We can create animal passports and implement the roaming charge caps and the like, but they wouldn't be recognised in the EU. Nor would EU compliance with regulations be recognised in the UK. The end result is that UK companies would be able to impose roaming charges on customers travelling abroad as they always have, because the Community-oriented wording of the regulations would render them effectively meaningless in the context of an independent United Kingdom, and EU-based companies would be able to impose roaming charges on citizens visiting the UK, just as roaming charges have not been capped on EU citizens travelling outside the EU.

      Net result: no need to lobby.

      In every single regulatory area you dare to look, this same problem will arise: the regulations are worded to apply to members of the single market (which would be EU+EEA+EFTA) and by definition would not apply outside of that context. We can't enforce compliance of the EU with our regulatory regimes without mutual recognition, which is a function of the treaties implementing the single market, and as we would not be a member of the single market, the regulations so worded would no longer apply here either. Re-writing the entire acquis to apply to the UK only would be an impossible task in two years, and would still not solve the problem of mutual recognition.

      May had a sensible course before her: join the EFTA, remain in the EEA, use that position as a transitional space to negotiate long-term disentanglement from the EU. There would be continuity and minimal disruption to our economy, we would no longer be under the aegis of the ECJ and would be free of the customs union, and there would be no need for grandstanding bills with the word "Great" in the name...

      I suppose that's the problem. Politicians are egomaniacs to a fault. Give them a chance to get a "Great Reform Bill" or "Great Repeal Bill" or "Great Steaming Turd Bill (2017)" with their name attached and they'll strip naked, swing on the chandeliers and and firebomb their own children to enact it before you can say "rational debate".

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Cue the Mobile companies

        I suppose that's the problem. Politicians are egomaniacs to a fault. Give them a chance to get a "Great Reform Bill" or "Great Repeal Bill" or "Great Steaming Turd Bill (2017)" with their name attached and they'll strip naked, swing on the chandeliers and and firebomb their own children to enact it before you can say "rational debate".

        An excellent and accurate description with wonderful visuals. Have a pint on me!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cue the Mobile companies

      Considering as most of the carriers in EU countries either own carriers or are owned by carriers based in the UK, you may see the UK > EU roaming charges increase in order for the telco's to try and scrape back some revenue.

      As you say though, just another cost of Brexit. It won't be the last, and it's unlikely to be the most painful.

  5. S4qFBxkFFg
    FAIL

    "The fair use policies will be designed to prevent people bulk-buying SIMs where prices are low and shipping them for use in more expensive countries."

    To understand what a faecocerebral statement this is, imagine if it were applied to other products:

    "The fair use policies will be designed to prevent people bulk-buying books where prices are low and shipping them for use in more expensive countries."

    "The fair use policies will be designed to prevent people bulk-buying tomatoes where prices are low and shipping them for use in more expensive countries."

    "The fair use policies will be designed to prevent people bulk-buying buttplugs where prices are low and shipping them for use in more expensive countries."

    "The fair use policies will be designed to prevent people bulk-buying oil where prices are low and shipping it for use in more expensive countries."

    THIS IS HOW TRADE WORKS; A SINGLE MARKET IS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE PRICE ARBITRAGE, YOU SHIT-BRAINED CRETINS.

    1. ARGO

      Except that telecomms is a service not a product. A single market in services has yet to be established - still far too many country-specific rules and regulations for it to work. A prime example in this case is spectrum allocation - given out for free in some countries, cost maximised through an auction in others.

      1. Filippo

        Freedom of movement of services is supposed to be one of the four cornerstones of the EU free market.

    2. petur
      Mushroom

      @S4qFBxkFFg what a wrong comparison... when you use the foreign SIM you're not actually using something you bought there, you're using the cell towers build by the operators in your country, and you expect they will give that usage for free?

      Who's shit-brained here?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Who's shit-brained here?

        You are.

        A SIM from another carrier is not some magical cell-tower hacker. The foreign SIM will only work if the tower is owned by the same company, or a company they have a peering/roaming deal with, so just as they STILL GET paid when Johnny-Forrinner uses his SIM in that country, they will get paid THE SAME when instead a localler uses a SIM imported from Johnny-Forinnerrs country.

        This is nothing to do with having a free ride, it's to do with business competition in a free and fair market.

        This is about companies addiing artificial costs locally where they can get away with it, and more power to them, BUT as long as there are NO legal restrictions on any company trying to become competition to them.

    3. Mark2410

      exactly this

      "THIS IS HOW TRADE WORKS; A SINGLE MARKET IS MEANT TO ENCOURAGE PRICE ARBITRAGE, YOU SHIT-BRAINED CRETINS."

      Yep. This is exactly the sort of reason I voted to leave the EU. They have utterly failed to do anything that promotes economic growth but instead use things like "ooh I can use my phone on holiday" to placate the idiot masses.

      If you don't like roaming fees go tell your network and if they don't care, move to 3.

  6. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Shall I get my coat or ask a possibly silly question or two?

    So data will be €7.70 per GB wholesale. So how does this translate to (say) a French user roaming in Germany and getting the data come out of their monthly data allowance? Does the French operator have to swallow that cost?

    OK second question: If wholesale charges drop be €0.5 per year after 2022, doesn't that mean it'll reach 0 within 5 years - what happens then?

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Shall I get my coat or ask a possibly silly question or two?

      'So data will be €7.70 per GB wholesale"

      Haven't read the EU regs, but presumably that's a cap. Nothing to stop telcos charging each other less.

      Vodafone in NL (and most of their competitors) are already offering mobile packages with e.g. unlimited calls & texts to mobile and landline numbers throughout the EU and 7 GB data valid throughout the EU for EUR 30/month (excl. VAT). So they must be paying a lot less than EUR 7.70/GB wholesale. (And one or two networks are offering unlimited calls to North America and roaming over there as well I think.)

      https://www.vodafone.nl/zakelijk/shop/aanbiedingen/sim-only.shtml

      Actually, that sounds cheaper than the fixed broadband price for Hull someone mentioned a few days ago.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Shall I get my coat or ask a possibly silly question or two?

      The wholesale charges will apply both ways, so for your French user in Germany, there will probably also be a German user in France.

      By having the wholesale price regulated, it means that the German company can't charge the French company 10x what the French company charges the German one. Price parity makes it a much more even playing field.

      The article mentions that the price will "settle" at €2.50/GB... it won't continue to be reduced after that (although the value of a € might)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Shall I get my coat or ask a possibly silly question or two?

        "The wholesale charges will apply both ways, so for your French user in Germany, there will probably also be a German user in France."

        This is what makes me wonder about the comment in the article about the UK providers "losing out" on roaming revenue to the tune of billions. Are there really that many more EU people roaming on UK networks or is that just roaming income, accidentally forgetting to mention the roaming expenditure so they can "sex up" the numbers to "prove" how hard done by they are by the evil EU bureaucrats?

    3. ratfox Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Shall I get my coat or ask a possibly silly question or two?

      Well, it becomes zero, then of course negative; so you'll be paid for surfing the web.

  7. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Anyone from Three here?

    How come, with Three, I can travel the world and my standard Gigs and minutes allowances continue from at home? Is three big enough it can use it's own networks in most places? Or have they come up with their own deals that Voda/EE/02 can't be bothered to do? Or are they choosing to swallow the costs for some reason?

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Three does what Vodafone *could* do, or EE (T-Mobile) or O2 (Telefonica), which is crosscharging amongst sister companies... In some instances, Hutchinson (who own 3) has deals with other networks and reciprocates. That way everyone is happy.

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        So they're being grown ups inside the global group and (presumably) swallowing the difference in the few places where they don't have a presence or alliance?

        Nice.

  8. Velv Silver badge
    Facepalm

    ... will be able to use their phones as if they were actually in a single market.

    D'Oh!

  9. McVirtual
    Meh

    Pah!

    Insert meaningless comment here and go AFK ....

  10. Andrew Moore

    Hang on...

    Wasn't this all supposed to be in place by April?

  11. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Imagine rip-off Britain AFTER Brexit!

    If people pay over the odds today, with no import duties from EU, how royaly screwed won't the average Brit get after Brexit?

    Roaming? That's for EU people. OK?

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      And the mainstream tabs have also finally cottoned onto this... Looks like Britain will have to figure out sharpish how they'll deal with this post-Brexit.

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