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Telenor caves to roaming pressure; cuts prices

Norwegian operator Telenor is the latest carrier to come forward with significant reductions on its roaming tariffs, promising cuts of up to 50 per cent for consumers and 40 per cent for businesses.

Under the new tariffs, when Telenor customers are travelling in Europe, they will be charged one price whether they make calls to Norway, to another country in Europe or locally within one of the European countries.

The new price structure, to be introduced April 1, will operate with only two zones: the Nordic region and Europe.

Calls from one country in the Nordic region to another will cost NOK3.59 (Eur0.44) per minute, while calls from the Nordic region to other countries in Europe will cost NOK6.99. Calls from one European country outside the Nordic region to all countries in Europe will cost NOK6.99.

According to estimates, the company expects the price cuts to amount to approximately NOK170m in total.

“Norwegians travel a lot both for work and pleasure, and they want to use their mobile phones when they are away. Our aim is to make significant price reductions and simplify the pricing plans to make it more attractive to use mobile phones on holiday or when away on business in Europe,” said Morten Karlsen Sorby, executive vice president and head of Telenor’s Nordic mobile and fixed-line operations.

Telenor is introducing a similar zone system for mobile data traffic. The current price for business customers in the Nordic region is NOK15 per Mb, while in Europe the price will be reduced to NOK32 per Mb. For countries in Eastern Europe, this involves a price reduction of 60 per cent, the company said.

UK 3G operation 3 UK set the ball rolling the latest round of roaming cuts last month when it scrapped roaming charges between its core markets.

Last year, the European Commission threatened to put a cap on roaming fees if prices were not significantly reduced. Viviane Reding, the EU commissioner for Information Society and Media, is to hold further discussion on the matter this spring and legislation could come into play by the summer.

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