EU Telecom Head Could Say Yes To Incoming Call Charges

Viviane Reding has signalled the beginning of the end for free mobile calls as she appears to be ready to make concessions for cheaper data charges and allow companies to charge users for receiving calls.

In an interview to the Financial Times, Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner, is sticking to the fact mobile phone providers should charge between 1 euro cent and 2 euro cents by 2012 in termination rate rather than the current 8 euro cents a minute.

She didn't seem to be bothered by what would effectively mean the end of free basic mobile service, adding "Why not? The whole market is developing so we should not stay on the rules that have been in place 10 years."

Telecoms companies would be looking to recoup losses by introducing the charges for receiving calls, a controversial measure that has been singled out as one of the main reasons why North America mobile phone penetration is lower than in Europe.