EU parliament votes to abolish roaming

Dylan Bushell-Embling
07 Apr 2014
Daily News

European parliament voted last week to put an end to mobile roaming charges across the EU by 2016, a decision which could have a substantial impact on the region's operators.

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of legislation to phase out roaming fees across all 28 countries in the region, Reutersreported.

Analysts estimate that abolishing roaming fees could impact telecom revenues by around 5%, but the European Commission believes that the incentive for travellers to use their mobiles more will offset this impact.

Putting and end to roaming across the EU has been a top priority for Neelie Kroes, the EU's commissioner for digital affairs, over the past three years.

European parliament also voted in favor of legislation to protect net neutrality, in an attempt to limit the ability of operators to charge for tiers of service.

For a sector already struggling with declining revenue from traditional telecom services, the new legislation may not be welcome. It will be interesting to see whether the EU decisions influence lawmakers and operators in APAC and elsewhere.

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