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The EU speaks on mobile roaming costs

As everyone is all to well aware, it is more expensive to use one's mobile abroad than at home. However, the EU in the form of Viviane Reding (Commissioner for information society and media) has threatened thus:

"I hope this is the last time that a European Commissioner is forced to recommend that consumers turn of their 'phones when they holiday abroad".

So do I Viv, mainly because price setting is best done by the market rather than by regulation. Perhaps you would like to tell me what a 'fair' price for a mobile phone call is, as your extensive career in politics and journalism in Luxembourg must have given you so much insight into telecoms economics.

It does, however, get worse: "It is unacceptable that the cost of international roaming continues to be borne by consumers". Er, who is a better cost avoider than the person with the 'phone? Where else might the money come from? A lottery, some sort of eurobursary? Perhaps this is all some of naked special pleading by Viv as the six figures she doubtless trousers from you and I, and heaven knows what else in expenses, gets 'unacceptably' dented by her mobile bill.

Meanwhile, the Sego/DSK/Fabius debate last night was too dull to merit a post.


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Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 11:20 am

People like her would starve to death in a just world.
I can just imagine her in a post apocalyptic world at a village meeting droning on about fairness and justice seconds before being hit around the head with an iron bar and fed to the pigs, the first time in her miserable existence where she had ever served any useful purpose.  

Anonymous newmania said... 11:27 am

I had assume this price fixing was a monopolistic ( or oligopolistic )unfair trading practice which the market will not resolve .

In the US monopolies are prohibited, in Europe they are simply prohibited to abuse their dominant position.

Isn`t this what going on ?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:27 am

She does sport a Knightsbridge helmet of a haircut, and it looks as though she could withstand a hurricane without it getting messed up.

And I bet mobile costs are still cheaper than hotel phone costs...  

Anonymous newmania said... 11:41 am

Just read all the Blair abuse . Some pyrotechnic invention with V and PH the leading lights . The child of their union would very soon rule the world.

What a wonderul world it would be.

C-Your anti statist stance surely does not extend to supporting cartels ?  

Blogger Serf said... 12:09 pm

So prices are high. Is there a cartel or is this just a reflection of how unimportant to most consumers, roaming prices are?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:31 pm

It isn't so much that I support cartels, more that if the mobile operators are compelled to cut roaming charges they will bump up prices elsewhere to balance the books. Regular travellers are also savvy enough to buy local sim cards and use those when calling France to France or wherever.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 1:13 pm

she's obviously been to the gordon brown school of economics where money grows on trees  

Blogger Praguetory said... 1:32 pm

There are enough substitutes for mobile use abroad for the market to be competitive. Feel free to skype me if you feel differently.

The costs shouldn't be borne by consumers quote was priceless.

Let's all put some money in the pot to allow that hard-pressed group known as international travellers make a saving on their phone bills. Why isn't there an EU structural fund to deal with this inequity?  

Anonymous verity said... 2:01 pm

Well, Croydonian, you are an eloquent and meticulous writer, so what possessed you to write this phrase: as the six figures she doubtless trousers from you and I,?

Nul points!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:04 pm

V - I was feeling a tad dehydrated this morning. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:12 pm

However much the bitch trousers I suspect taxpayers pay most of her phone bill.
PH has the right idea.  

Anonymous verity said... 7:13 pm

Sightly OT, but bad news in The Torygraph (as was) this morning. Some flights - I think Emirates is one, which I'm very sorry to hear as it is a lovely airline) are going to allow mobile phone calls.

That will mean that other airlines can charge premium rates for not allowing mobile phones.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:13 pm

O tempora, o mores...

At least the London Underground is still free of the bally things.  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 4:26 pm

LU - not for long, the IT director is working on it.

re phone charges though, once upon a time it cost fortunes to phone the USA. Not just because BT was a monopoly, all international call were expensiv; It was a cartel.

Roaming charges are too a cartel in this manner. The diference being that with more choice in communication devices now and in networks it can be avoided.

Regulating roaming charges will just force the companies to charge more for other services; Texts for example.

Her job IS professional hand-wringing though, is it not?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:15 pm

Mobile users on the u-bahn - I'm losing the will to live.

An honest regulator would know that he or she should remove any privileges for certain operators and then butt out and leave it to the market.  

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