Wireless roaming charges could soon be a thing of the past in Europe if a leaked draft of legislation is to be believed. Apparently European commission vice president Neelie Kroes is hell-bent eliminating the fees she claims are a cash cow for operators and a disproportionate irritant for travelers.
The only option it seems would be for carriers to offer customers a flat rate for voice, text and data service both at home and when traveling across Europe. A draft document seen by the Guardian notes this will be accomplished by using airline-style alliances in countries where operators do not own a network. Such alliances would be required to cover at least 85 percent of the European population as well as 21 member states.
Naturally, the proposal has been met with fierce opposition from the nation's largest networks including Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone. Doing away with roaming fees would cost the networks an estimated €7bn (£5.9bn) ($9.2 billion), they claim.
The commission is reportedly set to endorse the draft on September 11. Member states are expected to meet next month to mull over the plan. Additionally, the European parliament would also need to approve the legislation.
Have you ever traveled outside of your home country and had to use your mobile phone? If so, what sort of fees did you incur or did you plan ahead and purchase an international roaming package beforehand?