The retail price of text messaging while roaming should initially be capped at close to
The price of accessing the Internet via a mobile phone while travelling outside one's home country is also far too high, she said, and warned that price caps for data traffic may also be imposed if mobile operators don't bring prices down by themselves in the coming weeks.
Over the next few months, the Commission will draft a revision to the existing roaming regulation, which covers charges for voice calls, extending it to include precise caps for retail and wholesale SMS (Short Message Service) roaming prices, and possible caps on data roaming prices.
The aim is to propose legislation by early October, get it agreed with national governments by the end of the year, and by the European Parliament in early 2009, so that the revised law can come into effect before next year's summer holidays, Reding said.
"Mobile operators clearly don't have the will to self-regulate," Reding said in a news conference, pointing out that SMS roaming prices have remained static since last October, despite her warnings that she would take action if they didn't cut their prices.
Belgian mobile operator Proximus charges the highest price:
Meanwhile, Austria's Mobilkom has what appears to be the best offer: a prepaid package of 100 SMS messages for
She said Mobilkom's offer is exceptional. "This is one operator out of 90 (that made a significant price cut). I'm not impressed at all," she said.