German Media Keeps Asking About EU Data Roaming Prices

Back in November, I was delighted to read that "Der Spiegel", one of Germany’s high profile political magazines reported that EU commissioner for information society and media Viviane Reding is also looking into pricing for data roaming in Europe. Now, "Focus", another high profile political magazine published an article in which Ms. Reding is reported to say that she is very worried about the extremely high prices for SMS and data services ("Ich bin sehr besorgt ├╝ber die sehr hohen Preise"). "Tagesschau", a popular German TV new show followed suite.

I’d really welcome some action to get realistic and affordable data roaming prices. In the U.S. for example people roam from east coast to west coast never thinking about roaming costs. European travelers on the other hand are constantly impacted by high roaming fees and thus limit their communication when in other parts of Europe to the absolute minimum. Most people’s communication behavior at home and abroad is thus completely different. It’s not only a lifestyle question but a major competitive disadvantage as well.

How is the media treating this topic in other EU countries? Please leave a comment. Thanks!

One thought on “German Media Keeps Asking About EU Data Roaming Prices”

  1. hi Martin,

    i am bulgarian, but live and work in croatia. must say data roaming is not at all an issue for one simple reason – people do not travel that much.

    some data shows that when on business trips, in more than half of the cases (varies on the country – in bosnia and serbia the percentage is much higher), there are restrictions on mobile phone usage, data included.

    if they travel for pleasure, they usually do it with their family/significant other and are restricting mobile phone usage to text messaging.

    data per se is not at all popular, let alone in roaming.

    simply because the prices are sky high. in bulgaria (more or less the same in croatia and serbia) – around 1-1,5 euro for a mbyte in bulgaria, and around 2-2,5 euros in roaming. obviously, given the low standard of the region, these are enormous prices.

    prices of voice started falling in the last 1-2 years, depends on the country. so, still people are much more sensitive about the price of voice, not that much on data (also due to older handsets – in bulgaria, for instance, siemens is still number 2 brand, mostly with its wide range of low-end handsets). when it comes to roaming and publicity, all the rants are for the prices of voice services.

    so, to make the long story short, the whole region and its public, although being european, is not going to participate (apart from slovenia, maybe) in this debate.

    whatever the decision, it will consequently affect eastern europe, since mobilkom austria, t-mobile, vodafone and orange all have strong positions and the market is ‘worth’ some ~60 million people (incl. the non-eu countries over here).

    PS: you even have the ridiculous situation to have to call customer service to find out what the price of data in roaming is, simply because the mobile operator wouldn’t put that simple peace of information on its website. and for me as an early adopter, this whole story is sometimes really painful. especially when i had to travel two times a month back and forth. the distance between zagreb and sofia is 1000 km, and if i don’t change the sim, in terms of prices, the distance is light-years. hope something will change really soon.

    sorry for the lengthy post. cheers!

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