Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Data Roaming Transparency Initiative Gets Traction

Twenty four leading mobile operators are backing a new Data Roaming Transparency Initiative that aims to provide consumers greater visibility of their roaming charges and usage of mobile data services when travelling abroad.

The initiative is organized by the GSMA, which is working with mobile operators worldwide to adopt the following measures:

  • Sending text messages to remind customers of their data roaming tariffs when they arrive in another country and turn on their mobile device;

  • Implementing a monthly data roaming spending limit to help consumers manage their roaming bill and sending alerts when their data usage approaches the limit; and

  • Temporarily suspending data service when usage exceeds the spending limit.

  • In the first phase of this initiative, these operators and their group subsidiaries have agreed to implement these data roaming transparency measures by the end of 2012, covering more than 4 billion mobile connections worldwide.

The GSMA will also work to promote the adoption of these guidelines across its full membership base of nearly 800 mobile operators globally. Further, the GSMA will develop a trust mark that will identify to consumers that their mobile operator is implementing these measures.

Backers of the initiative include: America Movil, AT&T, Axiata Group Berhad, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom-Orange, Hutchison 3 Group, KT, MTS, Qtel, SK Telecom, Smart Communications, SoftBank Mobile Corp., Tata Teleservices, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Verizon Communications, VimpelCom and Vodafone.

"A number of our operator members are already implementing sound transparency practices, benefiting more than a billion subscribers worldwide," said Franco Bernabe, Chairman of the GSMA and Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia Group. "The initiative announced today will help to promote an even broader adoption of principles that will offer a more transparent and uniform experience for billions of consumers, wherever they travel."http://www.gsmworld.com