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EC Looks To Scrap SMS Roaming Charges

Gordon Kelly


EC Looks To Scrap SMS Roaming Charges

EU oh sweet EU, you may change our pints to litres and measure the size of our carrots but we do love you when you announce plans like this...

Picking up where it left off with vastly reduced roaming call rates the new EU plan is to not just cut SMS roaming costs but effectively remove them completely according to our fave telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding.

"EU citizens should be free to text across borders without being ripped off," she explained. "Roaming charges have already drained the wallets of mobile customers too much. It is not a good sign for the competitiveness of Europe's mobile industry that it still hasn't got the message that credible price reductions are needed to avoid regulation."

It's true her first warning hasn't been heeded so what will be the cost of the telcos' continued greed? An expected ruling looking to cap all EU roaming text messages to 12 euro cents which works out as roughly 10p - the standard cost of a text message inside the UK. Receiving a text messages while travelling inside the EU will also be free, something already available in many countries.

By contrast, the current average roaming SMS cost is 29 euro cents (23p) and can be as high as 63p.

As we'd expect from the heroic Ms Reding she is also on the case of another telecoms roaming evil stating "We will have to discuss in which way to address data roaming, which continues to be heavily overpriced." An end must be put to "bill shocks" she concluded, but will pressure the industry on this for now rather than invoke law.

No official dates were given for action, but six to 12 months was the scope allowed to introduce roaming call cost cuts so don't expect mobile telcos to get any longer this time around. Good.


via BBC


July 17, 2008, 12:50 pm

Excellent! This is good news, its always annoying having to wrn everybody that you are going awayso they dont text/call while you are away and have charges made to both of you!

I think that 3 mobile made avery good step in this direction as well, where all countries that have a 3 mobile network (i.e. Australia, Denmark, Spain etc) you were able to use your free mins and texts to contact people back home, now that was a great idea! Hopefully the other networks will cotton on to this as well..

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