Feeds

EU to push through more roaming caps in 2012

Competition ain't being competitive enough

Website security in corporate America

Operators should brace themselves for more caps on European roaming, as the European parliament is planning more pricing restrictions when the current legislation expires.

The current caps run out at the end of June 2012, but before then the European parliament plans to have more regulation in place – with stronger caps reflecting the inability of competitive pressure to push down prices as well as the lack of any alternative strategy.

"The situation is disappointing. The high level of voice, SMS and data roaming prices payable by users is a matter of concern" said Angelika Niebler, the German MEP tasked with steering the new legislation through parliament.

As well as placing limits on prices, both retail (what operators charge customers) and wholesale (what operators charge each other) the Commission will be looking at more structural changes to bring greater competitive pressure into play.

One approach might be to offer travellers a list of local operators from which they can select their preferred roaming partner. Most EU operators will happily roam to any alternative network, and users can override the preference (which is programmed into their SIM) by manually selecting a different network – but a tiny proportion of users know that's possible, and an even smaller number make use of the facility.

Opponents argue that it's asking too much of users to compare prices while they're travelling, but without genuine competition there's little incentive to keep prices low so the EU is forced to use the blunt instrument of caps on pricing.

The Industry Research and Energy Committee will vote on the ideas around the end of February, just in time for the annual industry shindig in Barcelona, and the intention is to get the new regulations in front of the Plenary by April. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
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
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
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
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.