EU to slash data roaming charges by 2014

IT legislation

EU to slash data roaming charges by 2014

Cliff Saran

The EU is planning to make an amendment to its legislation for roaming on public mobile communications networks, which would enable users to choose their data roaming provider.

The EU has been looking to address the exorbitant charges mobile users pay when they are abroad. This is becoming a greater issue now, given that people are increasingly relying on their smartphones to access information while they are on the road. The EU report states: “As consumers are still in danger of bill-shock when travelling to countries [outside the EU], certain safeguard provisions should be extended to also include roaming services (voice, SMS, data) outside the Union.”

Under the proposal, from 1 July 2014, mobile phone users on a Euro-data tariff will be charged no more than EUR0.20 per megabyte (+VAT).

A draft on the EU website states: “Consumers should have the right, in a consumer-friendly way, to opt for the separate sale of roaming services from their domestic mobile package.”

The EU paper states that this could be implemented in a number of ways, such as using dual IMSI (two separate international mobile subscriber identities on the same SIM card), or single IMSI (the sharing of one international mobile subscriber identity between the home and roaming provider).

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