Briefs: U.K. wireless firms blast EU roaming plan

February 9, 2006

British mobile-phone companies Thursday chastised the European Union's proposed cap on roaming charges as an unwarranted intrusion on their business.

The EU has proposed limiting international roaming charges to the same level as domestic roaming in order to reduce bills for business travelers who frequently cross borders while traveling on the continent.

Mobile operators, however, told the London Times that the free market should set prices and that robust competition has been pressuring overall wireless prices lower.

The industry argued that roaming is not the only reason for dizzying phone bills. Currency fluctuations and network access fees levied by foreign telecom companies often pad the bottom line.

The Times pointed out that roaming is a significant moneymaker for wireless companies, sometimes accounting for as much as 20 percent of revenues.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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