EU Commission backs Reding on data caps
Cheaper beach surfing for 2009
The Council of EU Telecoms Ministers has agreed to force caps on the price of roamed data and text messages, to €0.11 and €1 per MB respectively, to be introduced in July next year.
The cap on text pricing is retail, while the data cap refers to the wholesale price that network operators charge each other. That should in turn lead to reduced prices for customers wanting to surf the web while abroad, and (more importantly) reinforce the public perception of the EU as the consumer's champion.
"We want to avoid so-called bill shock, when someone gets back from a holiday and gets a nasty surprise," said Luc Chatel, French minister for industry and consumer affairs, while Viviane Reding went further: "It shows that Europe is first and foremost supposed to be there for its citizens."
The deal will still have to be approved by the European Parliament, which shouldn't be a problem and is scheduled to happen next Spring, putting the measure in place for July 1 2009. Until then roaming data users might like to try this excellent price comparison service.
The average price of sending a text while roaming stands at €0.29 today, so the reduction will have considerable impact for holiday makers wanting to send 160-character messages home, while the reduction in the price of roaming should further reduce the need for Wi-Fi when jet-setting. ®
the biggest problem is that the telcos and ISPs have hidden the fact that sending SMS (and other format text messages) don't cost them 1/100th of a cent because they/it is all on the "back channel"... in fact, you can say more in a text in 1/100th of a second than you can speaking across the same channel...
the plain fact of the matter is that folk are paying 100x+ times what it should cost them for text messages and the bean counters are laughing at everyone behind their backs all the way to the (failing) banks :? :(
Do they think that a cap on wholesale data prices will actually be passed onto the customer ? Can't think of any other time a useful saving has been passed on. It's just a another piece of Euro incompentence and shows they have no grasp on reality and shows Europe is for the fat cats and not for the people.
A stumble in the right direction
So €1 buys you 9 txt messages or ~1100 equivalent e-mails.