European commissioner defends lowering of roaming charges

european commissioner defends lowering of roaming charges

Commissioner neelie kroes reacted sharply to criticism from vodafone boss vittorio colao, who accused brussel of putting too much of a burden on the telecommunications industry in view of the current economic situation. These include the pressure on tariffs for roaming in other EU countries and voice between networks of different providers.

The commission was driving the regulation with an "autopilot developed 15 years ago," scolded the head of the world’s largest mobile communications provider in terms of revenue. Colao called for an end to the pressure on prices so that the industry could invest more money again. The head of deutsche telekom, rene obermann, also warned that regulation was costing the companies billions in less revenue.

"Message to vittorio and vodafone: i won’t be fooled and i don’t react well to threats," kroes countered on tuesday. She is on the side of the vodafone customers. "When consumers are no longer afraid to use their smartphones and tablets while traveling in europe, network operators will also benefit."

The commissioner reminded the industry that it, too, wants something: additional frequencies and a coarser market. "A fair competition in roaming is a good exchange for these possibilities."

The so-called roaming fees, which are charged additionally when making a phone call in another country, have fallen drastically in europe in recent years in the face of massive pressure from brussel. The regulators are also taking action on data roaming and the transmission fees for switching between networks of different providers. Telecom companies complain that they are spending billions to expand networks to handle more and more data traffic – while at the same time having to digest revenue shortfalls.

Obermann reaffirmed in barcelona that the industry will continue to play a key role in the future. Men will not be reduced to the function of a data pipeline. The network operators are important as service providers, for example for network-based cloud services. With the advance of smartphones and various online services, network operators have gained a massive amount of influence. The revenues end up to a large extent with platform operators like apple and google or content providers, while the telecom companies only pass through the data.

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