EU to operators: Two weeks to cut roaming SMS costs

After giving operators numerous warnings to cut the cost of using roaming SMS and data, EC Commissioner Viviane Reding has revealed she’s now going ahead with a plan to cap rates for using data services abroad unless the networks drop their prices voluntarily.

According to Reuters, Reding has given operators two weeks to clean up their act and cut costs. She’ll also start publishing the cost of roaming data services on an EU website from the start of next month. “On the basis of those prices I will then decide if it’s necessary or not to have a regulation proposed,” Reuters quotes Reding as saying.

If history is any guide, expect the European operators to make a lot of noise about how data costs have already come down loads in the last year or two, then cut the cost of data some more when they realise Reding isn’t joking, and then the EC to decide it’s still not enough and bring in the regulation anyway. Good news for anyone texting from aboard, bad news for anyone having to listen to operators whinging for the next few weeks.

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