Europe Lowers Price of Roaming Mobile Services

April 21, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. roaming (n.)
 [rohm-ing] – the  use of mobile phone outside the country where it is registered
Example: Businessmen need roaming services when they travel abroad.

2. maximum (n.) [mak-suh-muhm] – the highest possible amount
Example Employees cannot spend beyond the maximum budget.

3. unreasonable (adj.) [uhn-ree-zuh-nuh-buhl, -reez-nuh-] -  not practical; not appropriate
Example: Paying more for poor service is unreasonable.

4. rip off (idiom) [rip-awf, -of] – to steal from or cheat
Example: The store rips off customers by charging more than the usual price of products.

5. notification (n.) [noh-tuh-fi-key-shuhn] – a written or printed message that gives official information to someone
Example: The secretary posted notifications of the general meeting in every department.

Read the text below.

According to new rules set by the European Parliament, mobile phone companies across Europe must lower the prices of roaming services by July this year.

The rules limit the maximum price companies can charge for some services. The charge for calls will be lowered from the current 30 pence to 24 pence (¥31) per minute. A text message, on the other hand, will cost 7.5p, down from the current price of 9p.

Likewise, data downloading and Internet browsing, which currently has no maximum rate, will be limited to 59p per megabyte.

Parliament’s decision is a solution to the unreasonable roaming charges that are said to rip off EU customers. Many of those who travel outside the EU are surprised to see their bills accumulating thousands of pounds in roaming fees.

To prevent bill shock, a notification through text message or e-mail will be sent to customers who have already reached £41 or 50 euros worth of data downloads.

However, the European Parliament is aiming to lower the prices even further. It plans
to keep lowering prices, so that by July 2014, it can reach target prices of 15p for making calls, 16p for each megabyte of data downloaded and 6p for sending a text message.

Also by July 2014, EU customers travelling within Europe will be allowed to choose and sign up for a separate roaming service from another network without having to change their current number.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How did the Internet change the way people use their phones?
·         Can you cite one way of using mobile phones responsibly?

Discussion B

·         How can people control phone bills effectively?
·         Would you say customers alone are responsible for their high phone bills? Please explain further.


April 21, 2012