EU draft takes softer position on roaming - report

EU draft takes softer position on roaming – report

24 SEP 2014

A draft proposal from the Italian presidency of the European council has eased the current stance on EU roaming rates, according to the Financial Times.

The proposal supports no change to wholesale roaming when the system is reviewed in 2016.

And while the paper from Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the European Council, backs previous cuts to retail roaming prices, it also contains a key addition.

Under this suggestion, users would be allocated a fair use allowance for roaming. If they exceed the allowance then they would be charged extra.

The change in stance will be welcomed by operators which have fought hard against roaming proposals in recent years.

However the proposal is only a draft which will be subject to much discussion over the coming months.

The next European Commission under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker starts in November. Juncker has made the digital economy a key priority.

The Italian paper also has proposals for spectrum licences to operate on a long-term basis, another proposal that is likely to be welcomed by operators.

The draft said: “All new rights of use of spectrum in bands… shall be granted with a minimum duration of 25 years, and in any case for a duration appropriate to incentivise investment and competition. Member states may grant rights of use of indefinite duration.”

And a separate report by Reuters said the Italian paper rows back on previous proposals by outgoing EC digital chief Neelie Kroes on spectrum.

Kroes proposed a greater role for the Commission in the timing of spectrum auctions in a member states. But the latest draft limits the Commission’s power in this area, as it would only propose a timetable for auctions with ultimate decision still taken by national regulators.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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