Vodafone moans about EU data plans

Vodafone is getting hacked off with European regulators constantly demanding that it cut its prices.

The telco giant is miffed that it has had to stop charging outrageous prices for European roaming services and mobile termination.

At Mobile World Congress, Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao called for a “moratorium on regulation”, arguing that regulation causes operators to cut investment and stunts job creation.

He argues that if telcos are able to charge what they like, they can create new jobs and invest in more infrastructure. That is if the customers continue to buy their products at the over inflated prices.

But, according to ZDNet, Colao’s comments have sailed up the nasal passages of the European Commission’s digital agenda commissioner, Neelie Kroes, who is overseeing plans to slash the cost of using mobile data while roaming internationally.

The woman who has eaten Microsoft and Intel for breakfast said that she did not respond very well to threats and she was taking the side of the customer.

In a counter veiled threat she implied that Vodafone might not do so well at getting more spectrum and a bigger market if it did not do what it was told.

She said that fair competition in roaming is a good exchange for those opportunities. Remember, if consumers lose their fear of using their smartphones and tablets when travelling across Europe, operators will benefit as well, Kroes said.

Next month will see communications ministers from across Europe vote on the Commission’s proposals. Letters from the European regulatory body, BEREC, to a European Parliament committee showed that regulators want the maximum rate for roaming data set even lower than the Commission is proposing.

The Commission wants a maximum rate of six cents per megabyte when real costs were five cents per megabyte.