EU Commissioner Viviane Reding will call on mobile phone operators in the EU to cut the cost of texting and internet use for customers who are abroad. Should they fail to comply operators could face EU regulation.
Viviane Reding is the EU's Commissioner responsible for Information Society and Media and will be speaking today at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Reding in her speech today will note that emerging markets like India an China have seen massive growth, with millions of new mobile subscribers registering every month.
However in a pre-released copy of her speech Reding said that Europe still has a key position as the market where the next generation of mobile will be played out first.
I am speaking of the shift to the Mobile Internet, the speech read.
This quantum leap in the communications world is not going to be driven by
developing markets, as the emphasis there will be for quite some time still on low
cost handsets and simple voice and text services.
Reding is due to say that the transition to Mobile Internet will be in developed markets, but also that such development also needs to see the emergence of open and inexpensive internet services.
She is also expected to say that more low cost bandwidth must be made available.
The objective is clear: Sending text messages or downloading data via a mobile phone while in another EU country should not be substantially more expensive for a consumer than sending text messages or downloading data at home, she said.
This is the logic of the borderless single market which we in Europe
agreed to create already 50 years ago. Higher retail charges abroad must be
justified by additional cost of operators, or they will have to disappear.
Reding also contains warned that if the mobile industry does not bring prices down by 1 July 2008 she will be forced to propose regulatory action.
Mobile companies were forced to lower the cost of making calls outside of a user's home country last year, following EU regulations.