Call for cheaper SMS roaming

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, continues attacking the high roaming tariffs. In 2007, she imposed a decrease in roaming fees for international phone calls. Now she also wants to see prices diminishing for international SMS messages and data transfer. Right now, these prices still vary widely because mobile operators charge each other differently to allow the use of their network. These costs are then charged to the end-user. Reding, talking at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, urges operators to lower these networks charges. She also stimulated the use of fixed fees for data transfer so the Mobile Internet could get the same boost as the fixed Internet did when flat fees (cable, ADSL) were introduced there.

It didn’t take the operators long to come with a reply. Rob Conway, president of GSM Association, which groups more than 700 operators, said he agreed that the Mobile Internet should be stimulated with a more attractive tariff structure, but opposed regulation of mobile data services, saying it would limit innovation: “We don’t believe retail price regulation is beneficial in this context at all. We would resist through reasoned argument”.

Viviane Reding

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