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iPad allowed to roam

June 18th, 2010

Letter sent today to The Times correcting claims that EU roaming rules would restrict use of the iPad.

Dear Sirs,

Your claim that EU roaming rules undermine the mobile features of the iPad (“It cost £700, but Apple’s iPad may not be as mobile as you thought”, 15 June 2010) is wrong.

Since 1 July 2009, there has been a requirement for operators to inform their customers about data roaming tariffs when they cross into a different EU country. Moreover, since 1st March operators have been obliged to offer their subscribers a monthly bill limit for data roaming in other EU countries and to send a message when subscribers reach 80% of that limit.  From 1st July, operators will have to apply this limit at the equivalent of 50 euros per month on subscribers that have not chosen their own limit.

However, there is no prescription whatsoever in the EU legislation that this should be done only in the form of a text message. The EU roaming rules require that the notification should be made by appropriate means. This can be in the form of a text message, an e-mail or a pop-up window on the computer.

The iPad changes nothing concerning these obligations on operators.  Operators have, for example, been obliged to give data roaming tariff information to subscribers using laptops with a so-called “dongle” to access the internet through mobile networks.

EU roaming rules do not put a brake on mobility. To the contrary – these rules have slashed the cost for calls and text messages by more than 70% in three years, and from 1st July new lower price caps on roaming calls come into force. Claiming that reducing roaming prices is detrimental to customers is absurd.

May I please suggest that next time you are writing on this issue, you first check your facts with the European Commission.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Todd

European Commission Spokesman on the Digital Agenda



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