Study finds that EC roaming plan will raise local rates

A European Commission proposal aimed at lowering mobileinternational roaming costs will lead to higher local callingcharges for some, a consulting company hired by a grouprepresenting mobile operators said on Thursday.

Consultants at CRA International Inc. found that operators won’tbe able to cover the costs of delivering international roamingservices if they charge the rates recommended by the Commission. Asa result, they’ll be forced to raise the price of domestic calling,but likely only for people who want to roam internationally, inorder to help compensate for their losses, CRA said.

That will encourage customers, looking for the best rates, touse two mobile phone accounts: one for use only in their homecountry and another for use while traveling. Juggling two accountswith two phone numbers makes using mobile services unnecessarilycomplicated, CRA said.

Earlier this year, the Commission said that it is preparingregulation that would require operators to charge the same ratesfor international roaming as for national roaming. The Commissionhas been urging operators to reduce their international roamingcharges for several years, but says that rates are still too high.Most operators in Europe charge at least

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