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EU lawmakers’ committee votes for bigger cuts in wholesale roaming fees

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BRUSSELS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Lawmakers on the European Parliament’s trade committee voted on Thursday for deeper cuts in wholesale roaming tariffs paid by telecoms operators to their counterparts than these proposed by the EU Commission, saying the transfer would enhance competitors.

Wholesale worth caps sometimes pit telecoms suppliers in southern European international locations with these in northern Europe over who ought to profit from vacationers making calls dwelling.

The former are eager to maintain such caps as excessive as potential to allow them to make investments in networks to accommodate peak demand through the vacation season, whereas the latter, whose residents are likely to go overseas for holidays, need decrease caps to networks in southern locations.

The European Parliament’s trade committee has proposed a wholesale voice tariff of 0.015 euro per minute subsequent 12 months which can be diminished to 0.01 euro in 2025, in contrast with the European Commission’s provide of 0.032 euro and 0.019 euro respectively.

Lawmakers additionally need to set wholesale charges for textual content messages at 0.003 euro per message till 2032 whereas the Commission had proposed 0.01 euro for subsequent 12 months, falling to 0.003 euro in 2025.

The lawmakers need to cap information tariffs at 1 euro per gigabyte versus the EU govt’s proposed 2.5 euros subsequent 12 months and 1.5 euros in 2025.

Lawmaker Angelika Winzig, who’s steering the difficulty by way of the legislature, mentioned the Commission’s proposal “was not progressive enough to reflect market realities” the place smaller operators wrestle to supply sustainable charges.

“This is why significantly reducing wholesale caps is beneficial to the market and consumers alike. It would enable more competition, which would increase the possibilities for better prices for consumers and enterprises,” she mentioned in a press release.

The committee might want to safe help from your complete meeting which usually is a formality though dissenting lawmakers can nonetheless give you revisions.

The lawmakers backed the Commission’s proposal for a 10-year extension to guidelines which ended retail cellular roaming prices throughout the bloc 4 years in the past.

The proposals additionally want EU international locations’ help earlier than changing into regulation. The first assembly between the lawmakers and representatives of EU international locations is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; enhancing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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