Roaming charges for mobile phone users making calls and using data abroad must be cut, a leading industry commentator has said.
Jonathan Morris, editor of mobile comparison magazine What Mobile, insisted that the charges mobile users face when using their phones abroad must be reduced permanently. Mr Morris was speaking after the European Commission also called for mobile phone networks to slash the price of both voice and data roaming costs across all 27 European Union member states.
If implemented by mobile firms, the move would benefit thousands of UK holidaymakers wishing to keep in touch with friends and family at home while on holiday. Businesses would also benefit from workers being able to stay in touch with their home office at a lower cost while away on business trips.
Mr Morris said that while operators had taken steps in the right direction on roaming charges, more needed to be done to bring charges down to a reasonable level.
“The reduction of the data charge per megabyte has only been agreed in terms of what the operators charge each other, so there’s no actual set amount or maximum that they can pass on,” explained Mr Morris. “The industry needs to just cut the rates and cut the rates permanently – not try to do it as a promotion, or as bolt-ons, or by making you sign up to a new contract,” he added.
A recent survey by the Carphone Warehouse found that, out of more than 2,000 respondents, only six per cent knew how much their network’s data roaming charges were. In addition, 62 per cent said they had returned from holidays in the past to find they had built up large mobile bills after using their phones abroad.