Thursday, 12 September 2013

Major telecom sector reform

Yesterday the European Commission adopted a major and quite controversial telecom sector reform, which is supposed to put an end to mobile phone roaming charges. (Commission proposes major step forward for telecoms single market) As Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission's President, announced a real single market in the telecommunication and digital sector is vital to ascertain that Europe is not left behind. A single market for goods is not sufficient any longer. If the proposal is accepted by other European institutions, consumers travelling within European borders as of July 2014 could be offered 'roam like at home' packages to cover all Europe or be allowed to subscribe to separate roaming service providers with the same SIM card. The goal: ending roaming charges for incoming calls. In order to achieve that, European Commission intends to permit all telecom companies to operate in any Member State, without the need to apply for national permits. In exchange, telecom companies will need to cap international outbound calls the same way as a long-distance connection in the country where from consumer's phone subscription originates (not more than 0.19 cents per minute). Already telecommunication companies are voicing their displeasure with this proposal, saying that it goes too far. Aside roaming the European Commission announced its plans to further ensure net neutrality - by better coordination of frequencies to spread 4G networks in Europe, making sure that specialist net service providers do not restrict access to the network for their rivals etc. Finally, the proposal touches upon the consumer contracts' complexity and calls for the use of plain-language in contract drafting, facilitating switching of telecom providers and ending the fixed term contracts for mobile phones (of 2 years). (Europe lays out its most ambitious reform plan yet: no more roaming premiums, enforced net neutrality, and more)

No comments:

Post a Comment