Operators slash wholesale data charges to halt EU investigation

It what might appear to be near-panic, five European operators have jointly agreed to cut wholesale data rates to €.25 per MB after the European Telecom commissioner, Viviane Reding, made more threatening noises.

The five operators--KPN, BASE, E-Plus, Play and 3--have agreed to introduce the €0.25 per MB rate from the 1st March 2008. The involvement of these operators, which have networks deployed in 10 European markets covering 60 per cent of the EU's total population, could allay Reding's concerns. She said last week that action was needed by this summer. "If they don't get it done, I will have to put regulation on the table."

Stan Miller, president and CEO of KPN Mobile Group, said that its companies in Germany and Belgium had supported the initiatives of Reding to make mobile telephony affordable. "Voice roaming was one example. Now it's time to support the demand for data roaming across the EU. This deal is a start, and we hope that other operators in more markets will act too."

For more on this story:
- read The Register and Cellular News