EU Plans to Eliminate Roaming Charges Poorly Received by Telecoms ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The European Commission is planning to eliminate roaming costs in the EU from July 2014. While the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs is on board, Estonian mobile operators remain skeptical.

Currently in the very early stages, the EU law change would eliminate roaming costs for calls, text messages and mobile data transmission within the EU, Eesti Päevaleht reported. According to the paper, the draft law will be completed in July.

“The sustainability of [mobile] operators' investments has to be taken into account, especially of those involving the next generation networks that enable faster broadband connections for the user,” the Ministry of Economic Affairs communications department head Tõnu Nirk said.

Mobile operator EMT's roaming turnover is under ten percent, but the change would mean reduction in investment opportunities.

“We develop networks evolutionarily, not 'revolutionarily.' We agree with the trend [of reduced roaming costs], but the change is too sudden,” EMT's CEO Valdo Kalm said.

Tele 2 roaming services head Kristjan Viilmann said the change could endanger the quality of the networks and further service development in Europe.

Elisa CEO Sami Seppänen said the maximum roaming prices are fixed by the EU until July 2015.