SMS roaming charges to be slashed, if Reding gets her way...

Expect to hear significant wailings from European operators if proposals being made by Viviane Reding, the European Telecoms Commissioner, move on from their present draft stage. Part of the recommendation being circulated among EU commissioners is that a cap on roaming text message be set at €0.11 -- down from today's €0.29. If this isn't enough, Reding is calling for the cost of mobile downloads to be cut from around €3 to €4 per megabyte to €1.

The likelihood of these proposals being accepted -- they first must get by the EU's 27 member countries, has improved since France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, has already indicated its support.

In 2007, European consumers spent about €800 million sending 2.5 billion text messages while roaming, with a further €560 million spent on data roaming services.

It will be the second time in the past 12 months mobile operators in the EU have faced price regulation. The EU capped prices for voice calls made abroad in June 2007, slicing revenue in the €8.5 billion a year roaming market.

For more on this story:
- go to The Times Online and MocoNews

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