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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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.