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Reding's Roaming Rampage

1:00 PM -- European Commissioner Viviane Reding is still on her mobile roaming rampage and now she wants a 60 percent reduction in the price to send and receive text messages while abroad from June next year -- which are so-called roaming fees. (See EC Slashes Data Roaming.)

She wants to cap the charge of getting and sending text message at €0.11 per message, a drastic reduction from the European average of €0.29 per message.

But Reding doesn't stop at text roaming. She also wants limits set on data roaming as well. Reding wants operators to shut off consumers' services when their international data usage bill runs too high, and she wants consumers to tell their mobile operators what their data usage limit should be. Reding proposes that from the summer of 2010, consumers should be able to set in advance a limit on how high their data usage bill can go before service gets cut off. This is to prevent "bill shock."

In addition, she wants further cuts in voice roaming charges. By July 2012, Reding proposes reducing the price cap on calls made abroad from €0.46 to €0.34, and the price cap on calls received abroad from €0.22 to €0.10.

Reding steamrolled the voice roaming price caps through to legislation last year. So, it's likely she'll be able to do that again this year with SMS and data roaming. The European member states and European Parliament need to approve Reding's proposals before they can become law. (See Reding Attacks Again, Reding Set to Rip Into Data Roaming, and Carriers Under Siege From EC.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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