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Reding 'didn't go far enough' on data roaming

Mobile cap amendments braced for resistance

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Viviane Reding's proposal to cap EU data roaming doesn't go far enough, according to Adina-Ioana Valean, a Romanian Liberal steering the bill through parliament who wants to ban charges for incoming voicemail and messaging.

Valean has proposed various amendments to the proposal, as spotted by Reuters. These include banning operators from charging punters for received voicemail when roaming, and changing the wholesale data cap from Reding's proposed €1 per megabyte to €0.001 per kilobyte - which will result in a similar price but make checking email much cheaper.

The per-megabyte cap seems logical when we're talking about downloading video, or even surfing the web on a laptop - but the widget frameworks that are popping up everywhere require tiny amounts of data, so the smaller quantum makes sense.

The existing proposal, which was approved by the Commission last November, already bans operators from charging users for received text messages, so extending that to voicemail would also seen logical. The charging of outrageous fees for recovering voicemail is such a nice earner for operators as to trigger a competitive service.

The proposal and amendments still need parliamentary approval which will take a few months, and the amendments are likely to be opposed by the network operators and those interested in protecting them. ®

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