Germany says cap cell-phone roaming rates

Jan. 23, 2007 at 12:22 PM

BERLIN, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Germany is proposing European Union countries limit cell-phone roaming fees customers pay, a move the industry opposes as unnecessary.

The proposal by Germany, the largest EU country and its current president, could speed adoption of roaming regulations proposed by the European commissioner responsible for media, telecommunications and Internet issues, The International Herald Tribune reports.

Germany wants roaming rates capped at 63 U.S. cents a minute for outgoing calls and 32 cents a minute for incoming calls.

The rates are still many times greater than the actual 13 to 16 U.S. cents a minute mobile operators pay to connect a roaming call, EU Commissioner Viviane Reding says.

Industry members dispute her figures.

A spokesman for the GSM Association, representing European cell phone operators, notes Vodafone, France Telecom's Orange, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and other cell phone companies have already cut their prices, which the spokesman says shows self-regulation is effective and sufficient to protect consumers.

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