The Irish Independent newspaper reports that wireless subscribers in the country paid about 20% less on average than their European counterparts for making roaming mobile calls within the EU during the quarter ended 30 September 2007. Although new EU-wide legislation has since been introduced which imposes a maximum price per minute that users can be charged for making (EUR0.59) or receiving (EUR0.29) mobile calls within the EU, Comreg noted that all four Irish operators were already either within or equal to the limit. Subscribers to 3 are being charged the least for roaming, with the operator levying fees of EUR0.39 cent per minute for receiving roaming calls, and 19 cent a minute for making them. The other operators – Vodafone, O2 and Meteor – currently charge EUR0.59 cent per minute for receiving calls and EUR0.29. The EU-imposed limits are due to be lowered again later this year.
The watchdog did sound a note of caution for the cellcos, however, saying that charges for data-based services and text messages while roaming remained high, calling on operators to offer better value for these services. It also questioned why operators were charging per minute rather than per second for roaming calls.