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Is the cost of overseas communication set to fall?

It looks as though the fight between the main mobile phone operators in the UK and EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding is set to go to the wire with no party prepared to give any ground as the stand off continues. After suggesting that she had already given the mobile operators one year to get their house in order regarding overseas communication she has now threatened to introduce price caps on overseas calls, texts and data downloads. But the mobile network operators are not happy!

Amid cries of political meddling and macro-management the mobile network companies are complaining bitterly that the plans to introduce a price cap will see some operators going out of business, less money for research and development and ultimately fewer attractive phone offers for customers.

While the EU argues that the real cost of a text from overseas is just 1p against charges which are as high as 21p a text, the operators claim that this is an income stream which is ultimately ploughed back into the business for the good of the sector and consumers.

Other issues which have arisen include the fact that consumers are charged per minute for overseas calls with a suggestion that they should revert to billing per 30 second. Data download is also another bone of contention with reports that one customer who downloaded a TV program while overseas was charged a massive forty thousand Euros. Talks are still ongoing but we are fast approaching crunch time.

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