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EU panel approves SMS, data roaming cap
|11 марта 2009|
A European Parliament panel late Monday voted in favour of capping the wholesale cost of international mobile Web browsing throughout the EU.
A committee of lawmakers has agreed on new rules, paving the way for new mobile data and SMS roaming tariffs to come into force this summer, provided they get the approval of the full EU parliament at next month's vote.
In a move that will surprise many, the panel of MEPs took proposals made by telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding last year a step further. They ruled that Reding's proposed €1.00 per megabyte cap is too high, and instead moved to lower the cap to €0.50 per megabyte.
They also approved capping the retail cost of sending text messages while abroad to €0.11 per message.
"Yesterday's vote in the European Parliament is very good news for consumers all over Europe. In view of the current economic downturn, the parliament is right in wanting to strengthen the purchasing power of European consumers," said Viviane Reding, in a statement.
She commented that the move will strengthen the purchasing power of European consumers.
From 2010 the law will also set a new maximum Eurotariff of €0.40 per minute for international calls, down from €0.46 per minute.
Reding had proposed gradually lowering prices even further from 2011 so that outgoing calls would be charged at €0.34 per minute, while incoming calls would cost €0.10 per minute by July 2012.
"However, the committee rejected all proposals to further reduce these price ceilings from 2011 onwards," said a statement from the European Parliament.
Lawmakers have also given the go-ahead for the introduction of per second billing from the first second of any mobile call made or received while abroad, rather than allowing operators to impose minimum call charges.
The legislation goes further than the European Commission's original proposal which sought per second billing from the 31st second of any call.
Meanwhile another amendment added by the European Parliament will make receiving voicemail messages free while abroad from 2010.
"I now call on parliamentarians and member states to work together very closely over the coming weeks to ensure that the final deal on SMS and data roaming can be concluded well before the European Parliament elections in June," said Reding.
The EU's 27 member governments gave the green light to the majority of Reding's proposals last November.
Following Monday's approval, the legislation will be put to a wider vote in the European Parliament in mid-April, and if endorsed will take effect at the beginning of July.
Источник: Total Telecom