It will be boom time for European telcos when high roaming charges end (sort of)

By Guest

Feb 17, 2014

You would have thought the argument over roaming had been won by now with a resounding Neelie victory accepted all round. The argument being that mobile telcos probably have more to gain than lose by getting rid of ridiculously high roaming charges, since the extra money spent by those who don’t switch off when outside their home territory in Europe must be far lower than the extra money telcos would make if they got rid of the high roaming charges and encouraged business travellers and holiday-makers back onto their phones.

But we have some more stats just in case the message has been lost. According to the EC survey of 28,000 citizens, 94 per cent of travelling Europeans limit their use of services like Facebook because of mobile roaming charges, according to a new survey of 28,000 EU citizens. This means everybody - users, telcos, app and online service providers - lose out.

But then this is the Neelie Kroes office which has a history of creative use of dodgy figures. Treat with care. Here are some of its other findings, some of which don’t seem to actually support the EC thesis THAT strongly:

More than 25 per cent simply switch off their mobiles when travelling in the EU (which means that 75 per cent DON’T! Brave souls)

47 per cent say they would never use mobile internet in another EU country (does that mean over half of them would consider it, despite the high charges?).

Only 1 in 10 people would use email like they do at home. That has a ring of truth. But then, many email users will just find some WiFi.

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