6/25/2008 12:17:00 PM
Ofcom praises T-Mobile for data roaming cost cuts
Ofcom has praised T-Mobile for cutting data roaming charges by 80% and has urged the other networks to follow suit.
From 1 July, T-Mobile is slashing the cost of accessing the internet abroad via handsets and dongles by 80% from £7.50 per megabyte to £1.50, making it the cheapest of all the operators.
And in August the operator is cutting the cost of sending a text from EU countries by 38%, from 40p to 25p, as well as introducing bundles of minutes and texts. It is structured to give customers control over the use of their allowances and the costs of roaming.
Ofcom’s chief executive, Ed Richards (pictured), said: ‘We welcome T-Mobile’s decision to cut data roaming charges and the cost of texting while abroad.
‘In January I urged the industry to take the initiative on this issue, warning that the cost of sending texts from abroad was too high and that charges for data roaming discourage its use while abroad.
‘Consumers will benefit from this decision as the summer holiday season begins. This is an important first step towards ensuring that mobile operators introduce fair and transparent pricing for all consumers while abroad.
'I encourage the mobile operators to continue to address this issue and act in the interests of their customers.’
Several horror stories have hit the mobile industry in recent months with people running up bills of several thousands of pounds for internet downloads, after wrongly assuming UK unlimited tariffs counted while abroad.
Viviane Reding, the European Union commissioner for information, society and media, has given the phone companies until 1 July to cut their fees for downloading data and texting while abroad.
The other networks’ costs
O2 has cut data charges to £3 per megabyte, a saving of 80% for prepay customers and 57% for postpay customers compared with previous charges.
Vodafone charges £4.99 per megabyte, but also offers a daily deal of £9.99 for 50 megabytes.
3 charges between £3 and £6 per megabyte depending on where you are in the world.
Orange charges between £3 and £4 per megabyte depending on whether the customer is on prepay or postpay, and Virgin charges £5 per megabyte.