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EU to cap cell carrier data, text roaming

updated 08:25 am EDT, Fri June 13, 2008

EU Caps Data Text Roaming

The European Union today warned carriers in its member states that it would start regulating the roaming rates for data and messaging in the region without voluntary price drops. While not saying what would dictate the regulation, Commissioner Viviane Reding explains that the government body will start posting Europe-wide prices in the next two weeks and will likely demand that most prices be regulated lower if not dropped voluntarily.

The changes follow similar practices for call roaming in Europe and are meant to curb what some believe is deliberate overcharging for mobile services, which carriers are often accused of using to boost profits in place of or in addition to higher costs for domestic users.

Officials from both France and Italy say they support the measure, while those from Belgium and other countries are primarily supportive of regulations for messages but believe it may be too early to regulate data rates, which are more expensive to maintain.

T-Mobile, Vodafone and other Europe-centric carriers under the GSM Association defend their pricing by claiming that the industry is both growing quickly and already dropping prices to match: the number of users on 3G-based UMTS or HSPA networks doubled to 112 million continent-wide between April 2007 and 2008 while rates themselves in some areas dropped to less than that of DSL or other hardwired services.

The issue comes as 3G traffic is likely to increase sharply with the release of the iPhone 3G in multiple European countries next month; data use among owners of the initial phone is known to be much higher than average for other devices.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    i hope so

    Roaming charges are pure theft, we have many country's so roaming is a big problem. The same carrier has service in different country's but charges roaming based on the country and not the network we use.

  1. smokeonit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +2

    rip-off!!!

    i once got ripped of in italy in roaming mode..

    i checked my email for 6 days once a day... had 15MByte traffic... i was charged �800 for those 15MByte...!!!! that's US$1225 @ the current exchange rate... happend early 2007...

    this can happen in ANY country, i think some countries have even higher roaming prices for data roaming!

  1. pilottage

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008

    +1

    Sharply yes sure!!!

    "The issue comes as 3G traffic is likely to increase sharply with the release of the iPhone 3G in multiple European countries next month; data use among owners of the initial phone is known to be much higher than average for other devices."

    How much? since with allready 112 millions subscribers to 3G in Europe, the iPhone should not be able to do more than 10 millions this year...

    Wich is not even 10% of this...

    Sharply what?

  1. chadpengar

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001

    +1

    iphone

    the iPhone actually lets you use the data services easily. Once I ditched my Nokia N95 for an iPhone my data usage went way up.

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