ComReg to investigate mobile roaming charges


6 Apr 2004

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ComReg, the communications regulator, says it plans to work closely with mobile operators and its UK counterpart OfCom as well as other European and international regulators to bring down the costs of cross-border roaming on the island of Ireland as well as overseas.

The communications regulation body issued an information notice this afternoon on the wholesale national market for international roaming on mobile networks and said it aims to work closely with other EU communications regulators on international roaming to benefit consumers who user their mobile phones when travelling abroad.

The information notice followed a call for consultation on the thorny issue, specifically around cross-border roaming charges in Ireland, which received responses from Eircom, Meteor, O2 and Vodafone.

ComReg said that it believes the best way to achieve competitive results in the market for the benefit for consumers across the EU is to co-ordinate an approach on a pan-European level under the auspices of what it terms the International Regulators Group (IRG) and the European Regulators Group (ERG).

It is understood that both the IRG and ERG are due to file reports on an analysis of costs and prices for end users as well as transparency of prices and defining a common approach towards regulation of international roaming and a proposal for a joint action plan.

ComReg said it is also responding to a directive from the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Dermot Ahern TD to work closely with OfCom to reduce the costs of roaming for the people on the island of Ireland, eliminate or reduce additional charges and encourage national call charging on an all-island basis. It said it will report quarterly to the Minister on the implementation of the direction.

By John Kennedy