Feeds

Operators race to pre-empt Euro data roaming cap

3, KPN and Play cut wholesale data rates

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Five operators across Europe have banded together and agreed to cut wholesale data rates to €.25 per megabyte. The agreement should reduce customer prices over the next 12 months, though whether that will be enough to fend off the formidable Ms Reding remains to be seen.

Riding a tide of good publicity from last year's cap on roaming voice, European Telecom commissioner Viviane Reding has made it clear she's going to impose price cuts if the industry doesn't move fast enough.

"If they don't get it done, I will have to put regulation on the table," she said last week, pointing to summer 2008 as her deadline to see lower prices.

Forcing big companies to lower prices is great for the EU, which would love to see itself as the consumers' champion, so operators are going to have to work hard and fast if they're going to prevent vote-winning legislation being passed.

Cutting wholesale data rates is a first step towards lower prices. Two of KPN's subsidiaries are included (BASE and E-Plus), and Play is a Polish Operator that only launched last year (a brand owned by P4). But the move is significant, and if they can convince other operators to join then a flat-rate-across-Europe data tariff should be possible.

What we don't know is how much money operators are currently making from international roaming, aside from the many customers who accidentally ring up huge bills without realising it. Voice roaming was hugely profitable for operators, but with the data market still evolving it's hard to know how operators will react to a possible cap.

Ms Reding has also made clear that a cap on roaming SMS is also in the offing, so even if the operators can agree to reduce the cost of roaming data, they'll be hard pushed to prevent at least one bit of popularist legislation coming out of Brussels this year. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.