Getting rid of EU premium roaming charges sounds great for the consumer, but is it good for the mobile industry? European travellers, bruised by ‘bill shock’, are unlikely to care about that. If they can pay the same rates abroad as they do at home, what is there not to like?
In her most recent call for a single European telecoms market, Neelie Kroes, Europe’s digital commissioner, enthused about getting rid of premium roaming rates. Nothing new there, perhaps, but she also talked about “guaranteeing net neutrality”.
It seems a big shift from her previous stance on the “open internet”, where the emphasis was on making operators’ traffic management policies more transparent. The prospect of EU-wide net neutrality legislation is sure to agitate operators fearful of so-called OTT competition. It will also raise the hackles of EU sovereign states that don’t take kindly to directives from Brussels. This is going to be hard for Kroes to pull off. (more…)