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Cuts to European roaming charges "a smokescreen"

23 February 2007
Europe-wide consumer advocacy group BEUC has said cuts to roaming charges for customers using mobile phones abroad are a "smokescreen".

The minimal cuts introduced over the past year have been designed to hold off price-capping action from regulators, the lobbyists claim, and do not represent a real commitment to reducing customer expenditure.

BEUC described continued roaming fees from companies including Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange as "excessive".

Vodafone has offered to cut European calls by UK customers to just 37.7 pence per minute by April - a substantial reduction from the original cost of 61 pence per minute.

But BEUC pointed out that the Passport offer would apply only if the call was made from a Vodafone network and is calling for a maximum cost of 22 pence on calls made by a given customer outside their home country.

But the GSM Association, which represents Europe-wide mobile phone networks, continues to resist regulatory price-capping to curb the upper limit of roaming charges.

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