What will be the impact of the EU roaming vote?

callow topThe media is full of comments around the EU’s vote to banish roaming charges.  Add that to the recent European Commission survey that says more than 1 in 4 people switch off their mobile phones when travelling in Europe and outside of their home country and it is safe to say that roaming is a key story at this time.

At the moment I don’t know how many of those polled were business users (I’m sure I could find out but not sure its really worth the bother!!) but lets use the figures contained within the survey to assess the impact.

1 in 10 reduce their use of email

I get a lot of email. There is a real danger that limiting your use of email to when you can get a wifi signal (otherwise known as back in your hotel or at lunch in a coffee shop) could mean losing out on business.

30% don’t make phone calls

Whilst I am sure that this won’t be the case for most business users (after all the user isn’t paying the bill – that’s the responsibility of the IT Director or the FD), worrying about the cost of these calls may mean some business users, particularly those within small businesses, may hesitate in making calls and this could lead to the same result: a loss of business.

Of course there is the option of waiting for wifi and using Skype?

Who’s going to pay?

The loss of roaming revenues will make a big hole in the piggy banks of the mobile operators; they will want to make that up somewhere; the question is where?

In my opinion it will occur in the following ways:

  1. the cost of roaming outside the EU will increase dramatically
  2. the investment in infrastructure will slow down
  3. the cost of your contract will go up

They are not going to walk away from £26bn.

What are your thoughts on where they will make up this money?