German operator opposes paid roaming
It is rare to hear how telephone operators acknowledge that tariffs in the industry are too high, but that’s exactly what Rene Schuster, Director General of the German Telefónica Germany operator, did on Wednesday.
“Let me be one of the first leaders in our industry to acknowledge that the industry really missed the opportunity to become a champion for the customer, ” Schuster said in an interview with Ine Fraid of AllThingsD at the DLDWomen conference in Munich.
“I think that by 2014-2015, roaming in Europe will be free,” said Schuster. “I think it would be better for everyone.”
Paid roaming may have made sense sometime, Schuster said, but "it is not justified in the future, and the industry will change." Schuster noted that his company made some tariffs free for its customers who use competitor networks, and also welcomed the fact that European regulators started roaming.
Answering a question about the biggest upcoming changes, Schuster pointed out the transformation of the smartphone into a digital wallet: “You are likely to see the death of a credit card in the next three to four years. Many purchases will be made through mobile phones. ”
By the decision of the European Parliament, from July 1 of this year, the use of roaming throughout the European Union has become much cheaper. European MP Robert Goebbels, who lobbied for this decision, said in May: “Downloading that amount of information, which costs now 2-3 euros, will cost only 20 cents, and over time - even less. The same applies to talking on a cell phone. "
Parliament also demanded that the European Commission establish a common tariff for mobile calls throughout the EU by 2016. Commentators noted that this would not undermine competition, but weaken the dominance of four operators in the European market.