What's the Latest Development?
Calling it "the most ambitious plan in 26 years of telecoms market reform," the European Union (EU) Commission has proposed changes to the mobile phone industry that include banning roaming charges across all 28 member nations. Under the proposal, the ban would begin for incoming calls next July, and spread to all calls by 2016. Afterwards, providers will have to give customers "the same prices for phone calls across the EU, or allow them to switch providers for the period they are abroad, without changing their Sim card."
What's the Big Idea?
Despite the "union" moniker, in Europe telecommunications is one of the industries that operates differently in every single country. Another part of the proposal seeks to rectify this by "harmonizing" regulation in order to create a single unified market, saving customers money and simplifying providers' paperwork by requiring them to have just one authorization to operate in all countries. The proposal also suggests improvements in customer rights, such as the right to a 12-month contract and the right to walk away if the Internet speeds don't match those promised.
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