The Wireless Event: Industry won't repeat voice roaming mistakes with data

Industry players will take stock of what has happened in the voice space when it comes to data roaming pricing, according to the EU Commission's director of electronic communications policy.

The mobile industry has learned its lessons from the debacle surrounding voice roaming charges and their association pricing and is therefore unlikely to repeat the same mistakes when it comes to data, claims the EU Commission's director of electronic communications policy.

High quality and comprehensive broadband connectivity, in particular mobile broadband will be key to reaping the full benefits of the information society, meaning that things like data roaming will increasingly come under the spotlight, according to Bernd Langeheine.

"It will be services like mobile broadband that will make a difference when it comes to implementing the commission's i2010 agenda... The commission has already received parliamentary questions on the price of mobile data roaming charges," he said, speaking during a keynote speech at the Mobile Broadband Congress, which is part of The Wireless Event being held at Olympia this week.

"In my view, data roaming is not in the same dimension as voice roaming and I don't think there is an immediate need to act. But it is true that data roaming charges are high and, some would say, in some cases too high."

However, Langeheine appeared confident that any action taken to regulate prices would pay close attention to what has happened in the world of voice.

"I am confident that the mobile industry will not repeat the experience of voice roaming," he said.

"With increasing take up and competition, we're already seeing prices coming down and are seeing some flat rate [options] on the market both at the retail and wholesale levels."

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