14 March 2007

Mobile rates in Europe

Mobile rates in Europe are much higher in the US.

While comparisons are always challenging, a simple comparison is to look at individual plans allowing around 450 minutes. Vodafone Germany charges 69.95 Euro (approx US$ 90) for a package offering 480 minutes in the home region. A 450 minute plan from Cingular in the US is $39.95. A 400 minute plan from O2 in the UK costs 30 pounds (about $60 US).

International roaming rates are notoriously high. So last summer, the EU signalled that they were going to take action and cap rates. This press release provides some details, and an interesting chart in the back that compares the various proposals that are being considered.

A couple of questions come to mind that you might wish to engage in:

  • Why are mobile rates so much higher in the EU than the US?
  • Is capping prices on roaming charges the right way to go?
  • If not, what are the alternatives?
  • What does the table in the press release reveal about the loyalties of the Commission, Parlaiment and Presidency, respectively based on their rate preferences?

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