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EU warns firms on text charging

50°
345w ago - Europe's mobile phone operators have been warned they must cut the cost of texting and internet access for users who are overseas or face regulation.

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding said firms have until 1 July to slash their so-called "roaming" charges.

A text sent while abroad can cost as much as 49 pence ($0.95) and a study found that transferring 1 megabyte (MB) of data on average costs £4.11.

Mobile phone companies say they have already begun cutting prices.

"Sending text messages or downloading other data via a mobile phone while in another EU country should not be substantially more expensive for a consumer than sending text messages or downloading data at home," Ms Reding said.

"If the industry does what it claims it can do, bringing prices down to normal, then of course, regulation will not be necessary," she added.

Price cap

The Commissioner called for "credible reductions" to fees charged to business travellers and holiday makers before the summer deadline.

She warned roaming charges of anything more than about 2 pence above domestic texting charges would be unacceptable.

Last year the EU adopted regulations proposed by the EU Commissioner that forced mobile phone companies to lower the costs of...
 

Mobile phone technology turns 20

50°
367w ago - The technology behind the mobile phone is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

On 7 September 1987, 15 phone firms signed an agreement to build mobile networks based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications.

According to the GSM Association there are more than 2.5 billion accounts that use this mobile phone technology.
 
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