June 20, 2008
In a bid to avoid the regulatory eye of European telecoms commissioner, Vivian Reding, German mobile operator T-Mobile said Friday that it is cutting the cost of data roaming within Europe by as much as 80 per cent.
From July 1, T-Mobile said it will reduce the price of a text message sent while roaming in Europe by 38 per cent to £0.25, and will also cut the cost of internet access from a handset or data card from £7.50 per MB to £1.50 when roaming.
T-Mo also introduced new roaming tariffs, called Euro Holiday Boosters, which comprise minutes and text, that can be used in an either or manner like the popular Flext tariff.
A spend of £5 gives a user £7.50 of allowance that can be used on any combination of minutes or texts, while £10 gives £15, £20 gives £30, and £30 gives £45, you get the drift.
T-Mobile claims the reduction in data roaming rates has become possible because of the growing maturity of the mobile data market. But cynics might say that the cuts have been prompted buy threat of regulation. Earlier in the year, EU Telecoms Commissioner Reding began to look at internationals SMS and data roaming services, warning that warned that research highlighted the fact that prices for SMS and data roaming services, which are currently not regulated, “remain high with a very diverse pattern across Member States.”
The Commissioner said that a decision would be made by the end of this year on whether the charges for these services also need to be regulated.
But it has been revealed that EU operators are looking elsewhere to make up the revenues shortfall from regulatory price caps. Last month, telecoms.com parent and industry analyst Informa Telecoms & Media, revealed that European mobile operators have raised the price of roaming calls into the European Union by as much as 163 per cent, in the wake of the Eurotariff.
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