Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Math problem - calculating phone fees

A few weeks ago, we've mentioned that the EU Commission intends to further strengthen and harmonise the telecommunication market so that the mobile fees in various European countries are at a similar level. (Discon-nect/tent) Unfortunately, it seems that the national regulating agencies so far have made a mess from trying to lower fees that are charged by telecommunication operators, e.g., for carrying calls by other operators. The Irish ComReg required Vodafone to lower its fees to a certain amount, based on the calculation of average fees in seven European countries. The Irish court determined, however, that ComReg had no authority to use such a calculation method for application of the EU law. (Blow for consumers as Vodafone wins court case over mobile fees) It remains to be seen, however, what the next course of action in this particular issue would be. One way forward would be for the national regulating agencies to take into account current fees in all EU countries and to try to average costs based on more available data, to avoid further accusations of randomness and unreliability. The other solution could be for the European Commission to set a particular limit for these fees in a regulation. Even though the phone operators claim that such fees, as being charged between the operators, don't impact consumers, it's hard to imagine that they would not influence consumer prices.

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