Feeds

EU poised for vote on roaming cap

Could reduce charges by 70 per cent

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The EU committee on Industry, Research and Energy is to vote this morning on a proposal to cap the amount network operators can charge for roaming within the EU, potentially reducing the cost of roaming by 70 per cent.

The committee found that international roaming costs between 10 per cent and 20 per cent more than in-country use, but current charges are often 100 per cent more, or worse, justifying the need for legislation.

The idea is to cap the amount operators can charge for wholesale access to their network, and then cap the amount that operators can charge their customers to 130 per cent of that.

This approach has the benefit of simplicity and will automatically be applied to all EU mobile phone users if the vote goes through. The alternative, offering a fixed-price Euro tariff to all customers, has been rejected as it requires customers to opt-in and thus be educated as to its existence.

The vote is very likely to go though. Even the GSMA, which represents the mobile industry, seems to accept that some form of cap is inevitable and has reduced itself to lobbying on the amounts concerned.

Proposals to date have talked about prices as low as €0.15 for receiving a call, and €0.40 for making one, while the GSMA reckons its members can't make money charging less than €0.35 for incoming and €0.65 for outgoing calls.

Some operators have shown themselves more than willing to be flexible on European roaming, especially where the company operates in more than one country. In the UK most operators offer some form of cheap roaming tariff, though this hasn't been enough to deter regulators who are also threatening to legislate on SMS and data charges unless the industry reduces prices markedly in the next few months.

Assuming the committee approves the measure, it will be up to the European Parliament to vote it into legislation in May. The hope is to have the tariff in operation by the summer, though the proposal itself accepts that it will take at least three months, and even up to a year, depending on legal challenges. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.