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 Friday, July 15, 2005

European Commission and roaming charges: The European Union is planning a web site to help cut mobile phone charges.

Phone companies charge consumers too much for using mobile phones while abroad, the European Commission stated, promising to publish details of charges in an effort to let market forces push down prices. The European Union executive has been probing international roaming charges for years amid accusations that mobile phone operators are ripping off customers who make mobile calls while on trips abroad. Together with telecoms regulators from the EU 25 nations, the Commission has now concluded that "retail charges in the European Union are currently very high without clear justification." Roaming charges are also very complex and murky for most users which prevents full competition, the Commission said. The Commission's remedy is a Web Site from this autumn that lists all charges when mobile phone users travel from one country to another, Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr told a daily news briefing.

Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile unit rejected the Commission's charges. "We don't think that is justified. We have recently taken several measures to cut roaming fees and to make them more transparent. Apart from that, we can only pass on what the foreign operators charge us, and we see some discrepancies there especially when it comes to southern Europe," said a spokesman for T-Mobile International.

For the full story see Yahoo! news article (Reuters article)