Ansip: Roaming fees across EU a matter of mobile data consumption (1)
According to the European Union’s commissioner for the digital single market, former Estonian prime minister Andrus Ansip, in the matter of roaming fees the focus will be on mobile data in the future.
Ansip said that it was difficult to come to a solution for all of the European Union, as both conditions as well the situation of operators differed greatly from country to country.
For example, while the Nordic and Baltic countries counted among the most innovative areas in terms of making use of mobile data networks, had a high consumption of mobile data, and thus tended to have lower prices, the Mediterranean was different. There, operators had to deal with tourists’ expectations during the high season, but faced low volumes for the remainder of the year.
This meant that they needed to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure that would only be used at capacity a few months a year, and needed to make this work commercially as well.
Pricing dynamics would then follow these developments. In the Nordic and Baltic countries, prices were low, and there was the expectation that roaming fees should be dropped altogether. In the South, operators needed to compensate, which meant that their services came at a much higher cost.
Already between Finland and Hungary, there was a great difference, Ansip pointed out: a Finnish user would get a hundred times the data volume a Hungarian user got for the same money.
It was the commission’s task to balance these different interests, and to make sure that infrequent users of mobile data services wouldn’t have to compensate for the roaming costs of others by paying a higher price for their services, Ansip told ERR.
Asked if he expected exceptions to be possible for the Nordic and Baltic countries, Ansip said that considering the different situations of the markets in the North and the South, operators needed to be able to keep asking for a reasonable price for their services.
What was fairly definite was that starting Jun. 15, 2017, roaming fees on mobile phone calls as well as text messages would disappear, Ansip said.