Paris, 9 July 2007
The European Union has just adopted a regulation which automatically imposes a significant decrease in the price of voice mobile telephone calls made or received by French consumers in a roaming situation in Europe starting the end of this summer; that is, when travelling in a country of the European Union and using their French mobile phones.
This regulation also reinforces operators’ obligations to inform their customers as regards the cost of mobile services in roaming situations within the European Union.
Which prices will decrease?
The prices of calls made or received using a mobile telephone by customers of a French mobile operator when travelling outside of France in one of the other 26 countries of the European Union:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
How much will these new prices decrease?
40%: This is about how much the future prices will decrease with respect to the current price for most users.
€0.24 excluding VAT, or less than €0.29, VAT included per minute: This will be the maximum price per minute to receive a call when in another country of the European Union.
€0.49 excluding VAT, or less than €0.59, VAT included per minute: This will be the maximum price per minute to make a call to a fixed or mobile European Union number when in another country of the European Union.
These ceilings will decrease again on 30 August 2008 and 2009 to €0.22 then to €0.19 excluding VAT per minute for calls received and to €0.46 then €0.43 excluding VAT per minute for calls made.
When will prices decrease?
30 July 2007: this is the deadline that operators must respect to inform their customers of the possibility of benefiting from the "Eurotariffs" offer, which respects the European regulation, and allow them to choose at their initiative to benefit from the "Eurotariffs" or to keep their current price (which may be more advantageous for certain customers). In practice, this information should be provided through inserts in invoices.
One month: this is the maximum period granted to operators to activate the new price following a request from a customer. So the first customers will benefit from the new prices at the end of August.
Two months: this is the period after which operators must automatically switch to the "Eurotariffs" customers not having made the choice and who do not benefit from a preferential roaming price. At end September, almost all French consumers will benefit from the "Eurotariffs".
30 September 2007: this is the date at which operators must send SMS reminding customers of the three main roaming prices—price of a received call, price of a local call in the visited country, and price of a call to France—when they arrive in another Member State of the European Union. Operators will be required to provide more detailed information free of charge on request by the customer on voice call charges to other destinations, SMS, MMS and data calls using mobile voice messaging or SMS.
What do consumers need to do to benefit from the "Eurotariffs" as soon as possible?
Operators will announce the steps to be taken to subscribe to "Eurotariffs" by the end of July. Then, consumers wishing to do so can subscribe to the "Eurotariffs" with their operator.
In all cases, customers can contact their operator’s customer service for information on how to subscribe to the "Eurotariffs" and on when this price is available.
Is there a link between summer promotional offers and the creation of the "Eurotariffs"?
Summer promotions are offered by operators on a purely commercial basis and are therefore independent of the new European regulation. These offers may apply to all or part of the European Union, or be extended to non-European countries.
What should I do if I've subscribed to a preferential roaming price?
Certain major users of international roaming services (business travellers, etc.) may have subscribed to an offer which allows them to permanently benefit from lowered roaming prices. For some of these consumers, these offers are more advantageous than the price resulting from the new European regulation. These customers will receive the "Eurotariffs" only if they request them after being informed of the existence of new offers by their operator.
For more information:
The regulation text is available (pdf )