Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A good day for mobile phone users

Two mobile phone-related pieces of good news today.

The first is a small, albeit important example this week of how common sense can prevail and how common rules can be beneficial and cost-saving.

The largest mobile phone manufacturers in Europe have "voluntarily" agreed to a universal standard phone charger , putting an end to the folly (both environmental and financial) of having different sized chargers for different makes and even different models of phone. I know I have accumulated a wide array of different sized chargers over the years which I no longer use and I imagine most other people are the same. To read some of the articles in the press today you would not know that this was in fact negotiated by the European Commission and the agreement was only possible due to the implicit threat of EU legislation should the manufacturers fail to agree.

The second piece of good news is that from today (July 1) legislation passed by the European Parliament means that mobile phone roaming charges within the EU will be reduced even further. The maximum cost of making a call when abroad in another EU country will be 39p a minute (€0.43) and the price of a text message will be capped at 9p (€0.11). Additionally data charges for e-mails and internet use on mobile phones should go down. Although no cap on the consumer price was set, the wholesale price (from mobile phone company to mobile phone company) will be capped at 85p (€1) for 1MB of data and this saving should be passed on to the consumer.

Not bad for a day's work!

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