The UK regulator, Ofcom, has proposed cuts in interconnection fees (also known as mobile termination rates), the wholesale charges that operators make to connect calls to each others’ networks. It has unveiled plans to cut the rate in stages from 4.3 pence ($0.065) per minute to 0.005 pence per minute by 2015.
Proposals to slash the cost of using mobile phones abroad, for text, data and voice calls, could become law next July following a vote in Brussels. The European Parliament is to vote on whether roaming costs for text messages should be capped. The cost of sending a message is expected to eventually fall by 60% from an average of 23 pence to 9 pence. Voice calls would fall from 36 to 27 pence a minute and customers would be able to set limits on data downloads. A reluctant mobile phone industry first had limits on its roaming charges imposed by the EU in September 2007.
In the old days, telecom operators gouged each other’s customers through excessive termination charges (settlements) for international calls. That went the way of the dodo with bypass and calling cards. Then they came up with the idea of gouging the customers of other operators foolish enough to use roaming facilities. Now the EU is trying to tamp it down, at least for its own citizens: “The price of using a mobile phone in another EU country could be capped at 50 cents ($0.66; 34p) a minute.
LIRNEasia, Sarvodaya and the partners of the HazInfo project have been saying this and more importantly implementing this. Hope the message will be heard. Reuters AlertNet – News – Prevention spending must be doubled Governments, aid agencies and humanitarian actors must spend twice as much on disaster preparedness activities that could save millions of lives, the British Red Cross has urged.Almost two years on from the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, risk reduction remains low on the international agenda despite encouraging progress in tsunami-affected regions themselves. “The tsunami highlights the importance of proactively preparing for disasters and this lesson must be learnt and risk reduction must become a high priority in all disaster-prone areas,” said David Peppiatt, British Red Cross head of policy.