Governments and regulators divided over EU mobile reforms

Suzie Neuwirth
NEGOTIATIONS between European governments and regulators over how to compensate mobile operators for caps on roaming charges are yet to be resolved, City A.M. has learnt.

New EU regulations will give consumers the option to change mobile operators when they travel to another country within the region by July 2014, so they can choose the cheapest deal. Roaming charges will then be capped entirely in 2015.

The changes have been met with resistance by telecoms companies, but the EU is looking to offer existing operators cheaper or free spectrum to make it easier for them to set up 4G networks, in order to offset the capped roaming charges.

But European Commission spokesperson Ryan Heath told City A.M. yesterday that governments across Europe, who usually sell off spectrum in multi-million pound auction processes, are unhappy with the EU proposals.

“Talks are going back and forth between the various governments, European Parliament and the European Commission,” he said.