EU Parliament moves to lower roaming charges for voice and data

Have been stiffed with huge roaming bills on your mobile lately? Well, tough.

But there’s some really good news coming from European parliament today regarding various roaming fees within the European Union.

It’s Industry committee amended the 2007 roaming regulation that has already lowered voice roaming charges in EU to €0.46.

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According to the new decision the price cap for voice calls should be further lowered to €0.40 for outgoing and to €0.16 (plus VAT) for incoming calls. Furthermore, operators cannot apply any initial talking minimum for the calls (e.g. call charge for the initial 30 seconds, even if you talked just 10) and must charge by the second.

The decision also imposes price caps on SMS messages and data roaming fees. For SMS it will be €0.11 plus VAT per message.

The data roaming is capped at the wholesale level, meaning that there’s a maximum  price the host operator can charge  roaming customer’s home network. The price cap is set at €0.50 per megabyte. The data roaming charges will have to be calculated per kylobite to avoid hidden costs.

The decision made roaming voice mail messages free while abroad.

There also should be a soft “cut-off limit” for roaming data services. When customer data roaming bill reaches up to 80%  of a certain limit agreed in advance, he will be informed  via e-mail or pop-up about this. When the limit is reached, he will have to undergo a certain procedure making sure that he really is ready to spend an additional amount on roaming fees.

Unfortunately, Industry Committee decision is not the final one and will still have to be approved by Parliament’s plenary session, after the negotiations with the European Comission.

The first reading of the regulation  is scheduled for April 21-24th. If approved, the roaming price caps should go into force from July 1, 2010 the latest

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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