updated 10:45 am EDT, Mon October 17, 2011
CTIA agrees to warn users of data, voice limits
The US carriers behind the CTIA telecom group on Monday agreed to make concessions to the FCC on curbing "bill shock." Guidelines at the cellphone giants will see them warn subscribers when they either get close to or reach caps on data, text messages, and voice. Subscribers will also be warned about roaming costs when they go abroad.
Terms will also see carriers publicize the tools to track use. FCC officials have made clear that the deal doesn't eliminate the possibility of regulation and that carriers could face more official policies if they're found to either ignore the guidelines or trigger new concerns.
While portrayed by the CTIA as proof the government and carriers can work together, the association is mostly heading off a proposed rule that would have enforced the policies and possibly instituted tougher conditions. Historically, CTIA members have opposed any regulation that might force them to curb profit even if it acts in the public interest, such as implemented roaming caps that lower the maximum customers can involuntarily pay outside of their home countries.