A separate mobile Roaming Contract?

By 1 July 2014, consumers may be able to choose a different roaming contract from their domestic contract, without changing their number or SIM!

Neelie Kroes, European Commission VP for the Digital Agenda outlined plans for “profound structural changes” to the European roaming market. Clearly frustrated at the lack of progress in the mobile industry in eliminating what she termed “roaming rip offs”, Kroes said that the Commission has been forced to move beyond price caps to focus on fostering increasing competition in the market, by making “profound structural changes”.

The proposed changes will need to be agreed by the European Council and Parliament, but are intended to reduce the difference between roaming and national tariffs to zero by 2015. This proposal will make it easier for alternative providers to offer competitive services. This proposal would give mobile operators the right to use other operators’ networks in the EU at regulated wholesale prices, and so encourage more operators to compete. More importantly, it will allow consumers to roam at acceptable rates by signing up with another roaming provider.

The GSMA is however not in total agreement as it believes It would be counter-productive to combine stringent price caps with structural measures to foster competition in the market.

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