Cost of EU texts to come down by 50 per cent

totalgenius

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The cost of sending a text from a mobile phone while abroad will come down by more than 50 per cent under proposed EU legislation that could come into effect next year.

Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner, today outlined plans which will pave the way for the cost of sending a text while roaming in Europe to be reduced from the current 29 cents (23p) to between 11 and 15 cents (9 to 12p).

The proposed legislation, which is expected to be introduced in October and may come into force as early as summer 2009, follows a refusal by mobile operators to reduce the cost to customers of sending texts while abroad, the EU said. Operators argue that customers are not being ripped off, and that prices have already been falling in what is an intensely competitive industry.

The 2.5 billion text messages that are sent by customers roaming in EU member states each year cost more than 10 times the amount it does to send a message locally, Ms Reding said.

"Roaming charges have already drained the wallets of mobile customers too much, especially the 77 per cent of young people who send texts while using their mobile abroad," she said. "It is not a good sign for the competitiveness of Europe's mobile industry."

EU figures released today suggest that operators charge customers a wide range of fees to send texts while roaming in EU member states. A French customer roaming in Italy pays 30 cents to send a text, while a Czech tourist pays 42 cents. In Spain, a Swede pays 40 cents, while a Briton pays 63 cents.

The most exorbitant fees were set by Belgian operators, who charged customers 80 cents in some instances to send a text. The European Regulators Group reiterated the Commission's view that prices were too high, adding that a price cap of between 11 and 15 cents would be appropriate.

The Commission also called for greater transparency about the fees that customers were charged to access the internet while abroad, and said it would seek to put an end to 'bill shocks,' where tourists returned home to find they had been charged eye-popping amounts for so-called 'data roaming'.

Ms Reding said that the Commission had already proposed that operators limit the cost of sending texts while roaming but that "calls on the industry for self-regulation and voluntary reductions of roaming prices have not been answered".

Operators insist that price caps would not be appropriate. Mobile industry officials say that data roaming fees have become more transparent and that the likelihood of unexpected bills has been reduced. Vodafone, Orange and O2 were not immediately available for comment.

The new measures come just a month after the European Commission called for a further reduction in the cost of making calls while abroad by asking operators to lower the fee they charged one another to use their networks. It published guidelines which would see all such charges - known as 'termination fees' - harmonised by 2011.

The cost of making calls within the EU has already been reduced by 60 per cent following the introduction of the first EU roaming regulation in June last year. From August 30, customers will pay a maximum of 46 cents a minute to make calls and 22 cents to receive calls.





http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4337378.ece
 

nozzer

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Its about time that charges for receiving a call were scrapped entirely. There's really very little justification for it besides greed !
 

dollisp

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Dont your mobile network have to pay the roaming mobile network charges for using their network ? if that makes sense !!

Mind you most of them are owed by the same companies as the ones in the UK these days arn't they in which case I dont think there should be any charge other than your normal usage charge.

Like im on Vodafone here and more often than not connect to Voda when i'm away but still get stung for roaming
 
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