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Anorak | Markets versus bureaucrats in mobile phones roaming row: Simple Choice defeats the EU telecoms Tsar

Markets versus bureaucrats in mobile phones roaming row: Simple Choice defeats the EU telecoms Tsar

by | 15th, October 2013

WE’VE got a great little example here of how markets and bureaucrats work. Steely Neelie, the EU telecoms Tsar, is insisting that the mobile telephone companies will have to stop charging people for data roaming. That’s the idea that when you cross a border you start getting charged a fortune for your online access.

Europe’s digital tsar Neelie Kroes has been defending her call for greater integration of telcos across Europe, and appears to be arguing that what she described as “artificial” lowered roaming revenues should not hinder the telcos’ greater investment in European infrastructure.

Neelie’s plan is to get rid roaming charges across Europe by forcing operators to scrape them altogether, or offer customers the almost-impractical option of an Alternative Roaming Partner, but operators won’t give up on their revenue stream so easily and are lobbying to water down the legislation before it goes to the vote.

Bow down before my political power you ruthless capitalist swine! Do as I tell you to do!

Over on the other side of the Pond something rather different is happening:

Tonight in New York City, CEO John Legere said that the network is expanding home data coverage for Simple Choice customers to include more than 100 countries — from Anguilla to Vietnam– at no additional charge. Voice calls, meanwhile, will cost 20 cents per minutes in those same countries. “Wherever, Whenever,” right?

The new global data offering will go into effect starting October 31st, and T-Mobile says customers with qualifying plans won’t need to sign up or pay a fee to access basic service.

Simply market competition is leading to exactly the same outcome. Free data roaming and low and fixed price telephone calls when roaming.

What the hell do we need the bureaucrats for then? And do remember, the market is bringing this in the next few weeks: the bureaucrats hope to have it working in a few years, maybe.



Posted: 15th, October 2013 | In: Money, Technology, The Consumer Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink