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EU pledges to tackle 773% disparity in mobile call costs

Sean MacEntee via Flickr

The cost of making mobile calls in Europe varies hugely – a disparity that the European Commission wants to address with new legislation in September. See FRANCE 24’s interactive map.


The cost of making mobile phone calls can be up to eight times higher in some EU countries, differences that are impossible to justify, according to the European Commission.

Data compiled for the EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes showed that the average cost per minute for national mobile calls in 2011 varied from 1.9 euro cents in Lithuania, to 14.7 euro cents in The Netherlands, a difference of 774 percent (see interactive map below).

Kroes, who is credited with bringing down high roaming rates in recent years, said the Commission would bring forward fresh legislation in September.

According to Kroes' office, such price differentials do not show up in other product or service markets.

A litre of milk, she explained, usually costs less than a euro no matter where it is bought in the EU – while the price of an iPad hardly varies at all.

"As these numbers clearly show, the 28 national telecoms markets in Europe today are not benefiting consumers like a single market should,” Kroes said.

She added that a "truly connected continent" would require rapid action to turn the EU's fabled single market of half a billion consumers into a reality for individuals and households.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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