Operators could lose £500 million a year if Britain stays in EU

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This would be due to price caps on roaming, according to financial consultancy Oxera

UK operators could lose a combined £500 million each year to roaming caps if Britain remains in the EU, according to financial consultancy Oxera.

New regulations put in place by Brussels in April means roaming charges are capped at €0.05 per minute of calls made. Additionally, operators can only charge an extra €0.02 per SMS sent and €0.05 per MB of data. The regulation also dictates that all roaming charges are to be scrapped from next year.

The consultancy claims operators would suffer losses if Britain were to remain because of savings made under the regulation. According to its forecasts, operators would gain a combined £500 million from roaming charges if Britain left the EU because they would not be subjected to price caps.

However, operators had previously expressed their interest to Mobile News about remaining in the EU. They claimed a Brexit could negatively impact revenues and jobs.

Oxera partner Felipe Florez Duncan said: “While mobile roaming charges have recently been falling, if the UK chooses to remain in the EU these charges will be scrapped altogether in the next year, saving consumers millions of pounds. Making calls, downloading data and texting will all become considerably cheaper after 2017 if we remain in the EU.

“However, the impact to UK operators from this will be significant. Therefore it is inevitable that someone is going to end up out of pocket – but the question is will it be UK operators under Remain, or British mobile phone users under Brexit.”

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