Spanish mobile giant Telefonica SA said it will reduce the price it charges customers to use mobile data services whilst travelling in Europe by more than 40 pct.
The company said its O2 and Movistar branded mobile businesses will implement the new roaming charges ahead of the summer holiday season. The reduced charges will cover data services and a cap of 0.32 euros on the cost of sending a text message from any EU country, which will apply to all customers from April.
The company is also introducing lower tariffs for business customers which typically use more data traffic, offering a flat monthly fee equating to 1 euro per megabyte of data downloaded.
O2 UK customers will save up to 80 pct on pre-pay data service bills, while post-pay customers on O2 contracts can look forward to a saving of almost 60 pct.
Mobile companies were forced to reduce roaming charges following EU regulation introduced in June last year to cap the cost of voice-calls.
The regulation did not include a cap on data service charges, but at the time national regulators were charged with monitoring the costs of text message and data communications services.
The European Commission will present a report to Parliament at the end of 2008 on the effects of the roaming caps and on the development of prices for text messaging and data roaming.
This is cut in prices is only for Europeans. When are we going to see something relevant for non Europeans?