No data roaming cap, says EU official

Making users aware of how much mobile data they are using while travelling abroad but not enforcing a regulatory cap, is the viewpoint of the director general for the information society and media at the European Commission, Fabio Colasanti. Speaking at an e-Forum debate, Colasanti claimed that there was a need for greater transparency in roaming data charges, but primarily this should focus on informing users of how much data they have used and the associated costs.

"There is a widespread feeling that a wholesale cap should be avoided. It is an emerging market and there could be unintended consequences, "said Colasanti. "At the moment, the concern is the bill shock that consumers receive. Users often don't understand using data. The best idea, in my view, is if companies could say on devices how much data you are using, or give a fixed allowance on data roaming."

Unsurprisingly, this viewpoint gained support from T-Mobile's regulatory counsel, Robyn Durie, who claimed that the EU should not get involved in the question of data-roaming pricing as it has done with voice-roaming pricing. "These services have a more sophisticated pricing structure than voice--we are looking at quantities." She added that data roaming prices were falling anyway, "not just because Commissioner Viviane Reding said they should but because operators wanted to encourage people not to be afraid to use such services."

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