Wednesday, 1 July 2009

3 UK roaming comparison is misleading

On the 29th June (two days ago) 3 put out a press release claiming that on the 30th June (yesterday) it would be launching the cheapest roaming rates in the UK. This included, at £1.25/MB the cheapest MBB roaming rates. They were even kind enough to provide a handy-to-use chart, see below:

This is, at best, misleading. As of the 1st July (today) ALL mobile operators in the EU will be forced to abide by the EU roaming regulations as determined in September 2008. In the case of data rates the maximum chargeable rate established by that regulation is EUR1/MB, which is substantially below what 3 is charging. So we can anticipate that all of 3's competitors will be imminently slashing their roaming rates.

CLARIFICATION: the EUR1/MB is a wholesale rate, not a retail rate. For all the other services covered by the new regulations, a retail rate is mandated, whereas for data it's only wholesale. Nevertheless we'd expect to see substantially lower rates from the competition imminently as a result of the lower wholesale rate. If not, surely there's a requirement to mandate a retail rate for that too.

Of course all of this makes little difference to the average consumer for whom all of the prices quoted, including the new EU mandates maximum of EUR1/MB is still prohibitively expensive. Average Joe still won't be taking his dongle with him on holiday. Not if he has any sense.

1 comment:

  1. Yes VoIP has already changed the telecommunications market and landscape considerably, but do you think it will continue to do so in the future? Where do you see the VoIP market heading in 2009?