Saturday, May 16, 2009

No More A Roaming We Will Go?

Vodafone has become the first mobile phone operator to abolish roaming charges, meaning its customers will pay the same price abroad as they do at home. From June 1, Vodafone’s 18 million UK passport customers will be able to call and text phones in Britain from 35 European countries for the same price that they would be charged in Britain. This is initially on offer until the end of August. It is this move could be followed by other mobile operators as caps on roaming fees are due to come into force on July 1.

Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner has targeted the charges a “roaming rip-off”, with a two-year plan to cut charges by an average of 60%.The price of a roaming for a British customer in Europe could be cut from an average 25p to a maximum of 10p and the cost of downloading a megabyte of information will cost no more than 92p if consumers pay standard rates. The current cap of 41p per minute for a call made to Britain from another EU country will drop to 31p by July 2011.

Vodafone has also announced plans to launch a mobile application store for their 290 million worldwide customers, following similar announcements from others such as RIM, Nokia, and Microsoft. Software developers will be able to use to store as a single point of access to Vodafone’s global customer base. Developers will be able to use Vodafone’s billing system to charge for apps with a share of their profit going directly to Vodafone.

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