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Orange launches voice, data roaming plans
|20 мая 2008|
Orange announced on Monday the launch of two new voice and data roaming plans aimed at addressing the cost of accessing mobile services abroad.
The operator's new voice offer, Favourite Countries, gives customers the option to choose a country or countries within the EU in which they would like to make calls at a discounted or national rate for an upfront monthly fee – which in France will be set at €5.
"As an example, customers of Orange France will be charged at €0.37 per minute instead of €0.59 for outgoing calls (this is a 37% saving) when calling abroad in their favourite country," said Orange in a statement.
Favourite Countries is available to subscribers in France and Romania, but Orange plans to extend the offers to consumers in the U.K., Spain, Belgium, Slovakia and Switzerland this summer, with Poland following in September.
"The offer will be further extended across Orange's African and Middle Eastern operations under the name 'Pays Sans Frontières' by the end of 2008," said Orange.
The company's data roaming plan, Travel Data Daily, gives subscribers 50 megabytes of daily Internet access in the EU for a fixed fee ranging between €12 and €15.
It is due to be launched in the U.K., France, Spain, Poland, Belgium and Romania during the summer, and in Slovakia by the end of the year.
Orange said it expects the new tariff to deliver 90% savings for customers currently paying standard data roaming prices.
"Competition is alive and well in the roaming market," said Brigitte Bourgoin, executive vice president of mobile operations, Orange, in a statement.
"The data roaming market specifically is undergoing transformation from a business to business market to a mass market. As the volume of usage increases…prices are and will continue to decrease," she commented.
Still, the move to cut both international voice and data roaming charges has been driven largely by EU commissioner Viviane Reding, who at February's Mobile World Congress set a deadline of 1 July for operators to lower their prices.
However, the European Commission recently launched a public consultation on the functioning and effects of its current roaming regulations which came into effect in late June 2007, and whether there is still a need to regulate data roaming services, following a recent trend for operators to cut international data rates.
T-Mobile moved quickly by announcing an EU-wide flat-rate mobile data roaming tariff of €2 per megabyte, offering very heavy Internet users 50 megabytes for €15.
Vodafone has also addressed its data roaming costs.
In February ahead of Reding's announcement it reduced the monthly rate charged to its business customers by €15 to €60 per month, and raised the amount of data that subscribers could consume from 100 megabytes to 150 megabytes.
Источник: Total Telecom