GSMA Wants to Protect You From Getting Bill Shocks
More good news from the Mobile Asia Expo: Telecom providers from all over the world have agreed to prevent users from getting bill shocks when they use their roaming call and data services. This is excellent news for all of us who travel and use our mobile devices to keep in touch wherever we go. Franco Bernabe, Chairman of the GSMA and Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia Group talked about the growing number of providers who are taking part in this practice.
A number of our operator members are already implementing sound transparency practices, benefitting more than a billion subscribers worldwide. The initiative announced today will help to promote an even broader adoption of principles that will offer a more transparent and uniform experience for billions of consumers, wherever they travel.
- GSMA and 24 global operators agree to reduce bill shock by alerting users once they start roaming, capping usage and temporarily disconnecting services once subscribers reach the limit. (Image: Shutterstock)
The parties came together to hash out the guidelines for helping subscribers understand the roaming charges for data and calls, as well as to guide users in managing their data usage services. Those who attended the meeting included America Movil, AT&T, Axiata Group Berhad, Bharti Airtel, Ltd., China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom-Orange, Hutchison 3 Group, KT Corporation, MTS, Qtel, SK Telecom, Smart Communications, Inc., SoftBank Mobile Corp., Tata Teleservices Limited, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Verizon Communications, VimpelCom and Vodafone Group.
The participating global mobile operators and GSMA agreed on the following guidelines:
- Operators will send text messages to remind customers of their data roaming tariffs as soon as the customer turns on their mobile device at the destination.
- Operators will implement monthly data roaming spending limits to help consumers manage their bills. Providers will also send alerts when the subscribers’ data usage approaches the limit.
- Providers will temporarily suspend data service when the subscriber’s usage exceeds the spending limit.
The operators and their subsidiaries will have to implement these measures before the end of 2012. The transparency measures will affect more than 4 billion mobile connections around the globe. GSMA promises to encourage its full membership base of nearly 800 mobile operators to adopt these policies. GSMA will also be handing out trust marks to operators who follow the guidelines so the subscribers can see if their providers are implementing the transparency measures.
Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators — as well as over 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. This includes handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
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