The European Commission has announced that telecoms companies could be missing out on a market of around 300 million phone users because of current pricing strategies around roaming.
A survey of 28,000 EU citizens found that 94 percent who travel outside their home country limit their use of data services because of mobile roaming charges.
Less than half, 47 percent, said they would never use mobile internet in another EU country, while more than a quarter switch off their mobiles when travelling around the EU.
Crucially, the report found that frequent travellers are more likely to switch-off their mobile phone data roaming capabilities than occasional travellers, most likely because they are better informed about the costs.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes commented: “I am honestly shocked by these figures. It shows we have to finish the job and eliminate roaming charges. Consumers are limiting their phone use in extreme ways and this makes no sense for the companies either.”
"It’s not just a fight between holiday-makers and telecoms companies. Millions of businesses face extra costs because of roaming, and companies like app makers lose revenue too. Roaming makes no sense in a single market – it’s economic madness.”
Last September, Kroes unveiled draft reform which proposed banning incoming call charges while travelling in the EU from July this year and forbidding operators to charge a premium for fixed and mobile calls made from a consumer’s home country to other EU countries.
On Monday, Kroes told the Financial Times that national leaders are “signed up” to the need for change and the MEPs are “working like hell” to agree to her reforms.
An increasing number of operators have announced plans to scrap roaming fees.
Orange said last month that it will be scrapping roaming charges throughout Europe and overseas French territories on high-end tariffs.
This followed French rival Bouygues Telecom making a similar announcement as the price war in the French telecoms market continues.