In the European Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe, which aims to reboot Europe’s economy and help European citizens and businesses get the most out of digital technologies, it was revealed that there was a 774% disparity in mobile call prices across the EU.
At 9.7 euro cents per minute, the UK average for mobile calls was slightly above the European average of 9.1 euro cents per minute. The data collected also revealed the biggest disparity was between Lithuania at 1.9 euro cents per minute, and the Netherlands at a steep 14.7 euro cents per minute a huge difference for mobile users in these countries. The difference between these call prices is in stark contrast to those for other basic goods in the European single market. A litre of milk, for example, can be bought for between 0.69 and 0.99 throughout the EU, a price difference of only 43%.
The European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: As these numbers clearly show, the 28 national telecoms markets in Europe today are not benefiting consumers like a single market should. It is critical for the whole of the EU to move quickly to build a real single market to achieve a truly connected continent.
Kroes, who has also been the driving force behind the reduction of EU roaming charges in recent years, also added that the differences were impossible to justify and that she would seek to introduce fresh legislation in September to help create more equal call charges across the EU.
Commenting on these findings, spokesperson for JustCall said:
It is hard to believe that there is still such a strong call cost disparity between European countries when so many other goods and services have been standardised across the EU. We would like to see legislation for equal call charges introduced in the near future. This would not only greatly benefit mobile users within the EU, it would also be a positive step forwards for the EU as a single market.