Feeds

EU poised on roaming agreement (again)

Compromise rates annoy everyone

High performance access to file storage

The EU's much debated roaming agreement is set to take a step forward if a modified proposal is accepted by the majority in a vote tomorrow.

If approved, it will be voted on by the member states on 7 June.

While there is broad approval for a capped "Euro tariff", a fixed-rate tariff which all operators in Europe will be required to offer, how high that tariff should be has been fiercely debated.

The other area of dispute has been if customers should automatically be moved to the tariff when it comes into force (opt out), or should be required to call their network operator to select the tariff (opt in).

As ever, the compromise is complex.

The current proposal is that wholesale roaming rates (the amount operators charge each other) should be set at €0.30 per minute, but should then decrease by €0.02 every year for the three years of the agreement.

Outgoing calls, when roaming, will be set at €0.49 a minute, incoming at €0.24, with both dropping by €0.03 a year except for the first year when incoming calls will drop by only €0.02.

To put that in perspective, the GSMA has said the industry can't survive without charging at least €0.65 for outgoing calls, while the German EU presidency wanted the rate set at €0.60. The original proposal called for the rate to be €0.40. So this compromise should annoy everyone with equal measure.

Customers will be able to move in and out of the Euro tariff without charge, but three months after it's introduced any customers who haven't actively requested a different tariff will be automatically migrated into the Euro option, giving network operators a real incentive to promote their alternatives.

Assuming the vote passes tomorrow, the proposal goes before the member states on 7 June, and should pass into law a couple of weeks after that. It might seem that the roaming debate has been dragging on for far too long, but considering the original proposal was only drafted in February, this is almost a land-speed record for the EU. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
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
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.