Despite mobile roaming charges dropping across Europe from 1 July, Manx Telecom has increased many of its charges up, claiming that its ‘hands are tied’. According to the Isle of Man Today newspaper, from 1 July Manx Telecom raised the cost of calling home from Europe for both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go customers from GBP0.61 (USD0.92) per minute to GBP0.68, while the cost of sending data increased from GBP6.50 to GBP6.99 per MB. Manx stressed that it had to adjust its roaming charges because it was unable to absorb all of the costs incurred by other network operators raising their charges.
David Smith, Manx Telecom marketing director, told the Isle of Man Today: ‘Our roaming prices are constrained by the wholesale charges that other mobile operators pass on to us when Manx Telecom customers use their device overseas. As the Isle of Man is not part of the European Union (EU), overseas operators are not obliged to pass on reduced rates to us, or any other non-EU telecoms provider, no matter how hard we try to negotiate with them … [However], all Manx Telecom mobile customers receive free incoming calls when roaming in the UK, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland. Manx Telecom is the only Isle of Man operator to offer this’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, from 1 July, under new rules laid down by the EU, European mobile carriers will not be able to charge customers travelling abroad more than EUR0.45 (USD0.59) per 1MB of data, plus tax, down from the previous cap of EUR0.70 (set a year ago). Further, from 1 July 2014 the rate will be cut again to a maximum EUR0.20 per 1MB it said. The move means that data roaming fees are now 91% lower than they were in 2007.