Statement by Ryan Heath on "What is the best way to end roaming in the EU?"
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 10 December 2013, Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, made a statement on the best way to end roaming in the EU.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Cutaway of EU flags
||Soundbite by Ryan Heath, Spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, (in ENGLISH): Obviously the EU efforts to cut mobile roaming charges has been very successful over the last few years, it is one of the things that most people recognize that EU has done very well and if you are an individual or part of a family who's going on holiday for a week now you could expect to safe 300 Euros to 400 Euros during your checking of maps, checking into social networks, sending a few emails, making a few phone calls. If you do that now, you save quite a lot of money; if you are a business person, honestly, you are saving more than a thousand Euro a year now because of these price changes. And that has done is wake people up to the fact virtually everyone now think mobile roaming charges are quite out dated basically, even the companies themselves. So there is a debate on how do we end these charges but I think everyone realizes it is time for them to get pushed out of the market. Now we are seeing the Parliament debates quite intensely how we would get rid of these charges and the Commission put forward a proposal that tries to make sure that the charges are pushed out with minimal negative side effects because if you do it in the wrong way you can cause quite a lot of chaos. Either you do something very simple where you say:" we are putting an in date on when roaming has to go"; it is important to be clear but if you leave the details to be sorted out later on, probably you create a big mess with 28 different countries trying to do it in 28 different ways, likewise if you just trying to push down the whole sale charges that the company charged each other, you could end up in a situation where the companies are basically being forced to offer a product at a loss and they might stop offering that product so that your phone doesn't work when you go to another country which also not acceptable. So we have tried to design a system that makes it possible for the companies to reduce their costs so that they are able to offer you as the consumer and the user a package where your phone just works everywhere in exactly the same way all across the EU, that is what we are aiming at: Get rid of these unfair charges where you are getting ripped of, you shouldn't have to pay 45 times more to send an email to the country next door than if you were sending it to someone in the next city, that is not reasonable, that is not fair in this European single market but doing it in a way that doesn't unbalance the entire market; we don't want to see companies go bankrupt, we don't think that everyone should suddenly run to the cheapest country Lithuania and take all of their phone packages from Lithuania but what we want to do is make sure that everyone has a way to get the package they need and that you don't get ripped off when you are travelling to another country and so that is why we have designed our proposal the way that we did and we want to make sure that all the member of Parliament know the reasoning behind that when they think about it in the coming weeks.