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Europeans abroad can cap mobile Internet charges

02 марта 2010

Europeans surfing the internet via mobile phone elsewhere in the 27-nation bloc will be able to cap their charges by fixing a cash limit before they travel, the European Commission announced.

The scheme is aimed at avoid "bill shocks at the end of the month," said commission telecoms spokesman Jonathan Todd.

From Monday, European mobile phone operators are obliged to offer their customers a cut-off limit of EUR50 to protect them from such bill shocks while traveling in other EU countries.

Consumers will be able to fix their Internet cost limits at a lower level if they wish, but if they don't make a choice by July 1, the cut-off will be set at EUR50 by default.

This cut-off mechanism will, following a warning, end consumers' mobile connection to the internet while abroad when their bill reaches a specified limit.

"Protection against data roaming bill shocks is a useful step towards building customers' confidence to use mobile networks to surf the Internet when traveling around Europe," said Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

"Such confidence is essential if people and businesses are to use the Internet to its full potential," she added.

The decision will avoid the kind of cases already seen when a U.K. student was reported to have received a EUR9,000 bill for data roaming during a single month of study abroad, or the case of a German traveler who downloaded a TV program while roaming in France faced a bill of EUR46,000.

The new rules are the latest in a series of measures adopted at EU level to moderate the costs of "roaming"--using mobile phones while abroad.

Limits have already been placed on the cost of phone calls and text messaging.

Источник: Total Telecom

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