"Maximum price for sms is not allowed"

A maximum price for sms messages within Belgium is not possible. Economy Minister Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) says that Europe does not allow the imposition of a maximum price. This is the minister's answer to the demand launched by the consumer rights organisation Test-Aankoop that an sms should not cost more than 6 eurocents.
According to the consumer rights organisation Test-Aankoop mobile phone rates in Belgium are still 3-4 times higher than in our neighbouring countries. The organisation insists that an sms should not cost more than 6 cents.
A comparative study of prices in 8 countries reveals that Belgium is 3 or 4 times more expensive (depending on the type of subscription) than the Netherlands for example, which came out the least expensive in most cases.

"As much as I would want to, Europe does not allow the imposition of a maximum price," says Mr Van Quickenborne. He hopes that with the arrival of a fourth mobile phone operator on the market the prices will go down because of the competition. At the moment only Proximus, Mobistar and Base are active in Belgium. An auction for a new license will take place this autumn, says the minister.

Mr Van Quickenborne also points out that mobile phone rates in Belgium have in fact dropped by 20-30 percent over the last few years and that the government has intervened when competition has come under threat.