A fantastic article in Telcoms.com states that on July 1 2009, European Union mobile roaming tariffs regulation came into force cutting retail voice, retail SMS and wholesale data charges across the EU. With the European Commission identifying data roaming charges as a principal cause of bill shock, it is also forcing operators to put strong anti-bill shock measures in place.

Jonathan Downey, Director of Product Marketing for Openet , writes that the new rules seek to protect consumers from bill shocks by introducing real-time subscriber spend notifications and a cut-off mechanism once the bill reaches €50, unless they choose another cut-off limit. Operators have until March 2010 to put this cut-off limit in place.

Operators have been understandably concerned by the prospect of shrinking revenues, with losses being estimated by some operators at €6 billion, and their focus must now move to one of finding ways to replace that lost revenue. While the EU regulations help address subscriber fears of unexpectedly large bills when they return from their holidays, they do little to encourage increased usage. So it will be up to the operators to persuade subscribers to use their devices more. Read more….