The Netherlands has some of the highest call costs in Europe
A recently published study has revealed that phonecalls in the Netherlands are more expensive than anywhere else in Europe.
Ripped-off for a catch-up?
The study looked at all types of call costs, but the differences were particularly obvious in the domestic mobile calls category.
The Netherlands was shown to have the most costly domestic mobile calls, averaging at almost 15 cents per minute. By comparison, German companies charge roughly 8,8 cents, the UK averages 9,7 cents, and calls made from Spanish soil came in at 13,3 cents per minute.
The EU average is 9,1 cents per minute.Lithuania offers the cheapest rates in Europe, with a typical call costing a tenth of the Dutch price.
Irritatingly for those using Dutch phone networks, this inequality is not easily explained. There is no corresponding difference in call quality, or a shift in providers' service costs across countries. Instead it seems that the price differences translate simply into a profit margin, swallowed up by monolithic network providers.
Price fluctuations are common for many products available across the EU. For instance, depending on your geographical position, the price of a litre of milk varies by 43 per cent. Less severely, the price of an iPad is subject to an 11 per cent variation across the EU.
But the massive difference in call costs constitutes one of the biggest price gaps. And, consequently, it has caught the attention of some important figures.
The disparity was immediately picked up on by the Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes.
In a recent statement, Kroes noted that there needs to be more co-operation between separate European nations: "the 28 national telecoms markets in Europe today are not benefitting consumers like a single market would. It is critical for the whole EU to move quickly to build a real single market to achieve a truly connected continent."
This September Kroes will propose a trans-European agreement. This will be designed to strengthen the Telecoms single market, which she hopes will help to close the price gap.
Source: European Commission