Dean Bubley over at "Disruptive Wireless" reports from the Mobile Broadband Congress in London that a policy maker from the European Commission said in his keynote speech that wireless operators should not only think about voice roaming prices, which will soon be regulated, but they should also start thinking about consumer friendly data roaming prices if they want to keep the EU from repeating the regulation exercise:
"He pointedly remarked that the new regulations task national regulators
with "monitoring" both voice and data roaming, and that everything
would be reassessed in 18 months’ time."
18 months is a long time from a consumer point of view (i.e. ME) but let’s hope operators start that "thinking process" rather sooner than later.
For the moment, only few usable offers exist for international data roaming:
Vodafone Germany’s WebSessions for 15 Euros a day work quite well for business travelers but the offer is way too expensive for the average consumer or for only checking eMails and news every now and then on the mobile phone while in another country.
A great alternative and good example for other operators is "3", if you happen to live in a country with a Hutchison "3" network and travel to other countries with a "3" network. Basically they have scraped roaming charges for both voice and data altogether. Just too bad they are only present in a few countries.
When traveling to countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria, the U.K. and Spain, prepaid SIMs are also a good alternative. Here’s a list of countries and operators that offer mobile Internet access via prepaid SIMs.