Ok, I’m using the title of the famous animation “What has Europe ever done for us” based on the excerpt from the Monthy Python â€œLife of Brianâ€? movie to celebrate cheaper mobile calls when abroad. The European Parliament held a key vote in the legislative process to bring the roaming charges down, in some cases by 70%.
Let’s first quote Paul Rubig (via BBC):
“We have one member state where at present you pay five euro cents per minute. If you go outside this member state and phone home, you pay three euros. Nobody can explain why that is justified.”
True, where is the logic?
That intra-state competition has grown very fast, while inter-state not? And this resulted in fixed prices with no economic reason? That roaming was meant to be only for business travels, for which not many people care? Or that agreements among companies to connect calls cost so much?
But where is the logic behind setting caps? I honestly do not know much about the issue, but there are different amounts under discussion which should define the highest payment per minute of call allowed. How the Commission came to this numbers is a mistery to me and I think fixed prices are a thing of the past. Probably the same should be applied to fixed phones, but no one cares nowadays…
But it is true that it will make a lot of people (and companies) happy (me included), the EU can launch a nice promotion campaign (this comes second in practicality perhaps to the EU air travel rights) and people will be happy it exists.