European data roaming consultation looms

The European Commission will soon launch a public consultation into the cost of data roaming, digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes announced on Friday.The consultation will "feed into the review of the effectiveness of the current [roaming] regulation due before the end of June 2011," the Commission said in a statement.

The European Commission will soon launch a public consultation into the cost of data roaming, digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes announced on Friday.

The consultation will "feed into the review of the effectiveness of the current [roaming] regulation due before the end of June 2011," the Commission said in a statement. The roaming rules that are in place have led to significant drops in the cost of making and receiving phone calls and text messages while abroad in Europe, and have started to make a dent in the cost of using roaming data.

The Commission said in its statement that, although consumers had already seen some benefits from the roaming regulations, there was "still no true competition for roaming services". This may be a reference to the idea that any given mobile operator runs a monopoly, in that their customers cannot simply use another available network of their choice.

"In addition, regulated reductions in the wholesale cost of data roaming have not yet been passed on to consumers," the Commission pointed out.

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