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Roaming data ‘bill shock’ prevention starts today

by Scott Bicheno on 1 March 2010, 11:51

Tags: European Commission

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Roam if you want to

There have been many stories in recent years of consumers confronted with huge mobile phone bills as a result of accessing the web using a phone connection while abroad. Mobile phone companies are charging much higher rates for data when roaming and many end-users have been unaware of the cost implications of using mobile broadband abroad.

Starting today, operators are obliged to agree a specified bill threshold, after which the customer will be automatically cut-off from their data connection while roaming following a warning. The default limit is €50 and the warning comes when 80 percent of the limit is reached. This measure will be opt-in until 1 July, but will be the default thereafter.

"Protection against data roaming bill shocks is a useful step towards building customers' confidence to use mobile networks to surf the Internet when travelling around Europe. Such confidence is essential if people and businesses are to use the Internet to its full potential," said Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Hopefully another of the EU's new set of rules for telecoms providers will make this measure less necessary. Operators can now charge each other a maximum of €1 per MB of data downloaded and it's set to fall further over the next two years.

You can see all the details of the EU telco rules and, of course, a healthy dollop of self-promotion, here.


HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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By opt in, does that mean operator or user?

(ie do i have to do anything to opt in)
User - so you have to ask your operator for it prior to July.
cheers, will get this done tomorrow.

you should have a hexus top tip for this, its damn useful.
Note to self - remember this for the next time someone moans that the EU has never done anything useful ever,

(not that I love the EU or anything, I just tend to dislike black/white statements of fact when they're clearly inappropriate. )