Mobile Operators to Help Consumers Better Understand and Manage Data Usage, Addressing Head-On the Issue of Bill Shock
Santiago, Chile: Today the GSMA announced that more than 40 Latin American mobile network operators (MNOs) have launched a data roaming transparency scheme in the region that will provide consumers with greater visibility of their roaming charges and usage of mobile data services when travelling within the region and abroad. The initiative is supported by operator groups including América Móvil, Antel, Entel Chile, Millicom, Oi, Orange, Telecom Italia and Telefónica, all of whom agreed to undertake a number of measures in the countries in which they operate to help mobile subscribers better understand their data roaming charges and more effectively manage their use of data services when visiting other countries. The MNOs participating in this initiative account for more than half a billion mobile subscribers across the region.
“The Latin America region is unique in that we are at different stages of economic development, so it is important that we help consumers to better understand any costs that they may face and provide a consistent experience for consumers, wherever they travel,” said Javier Delgado, Chair of the GSMA Chief Regulatory Officers’ Group of Latin America.
“This is an important initiative and the second recently undertaken by MNOs in in the region, following on from a commitment to combat mobile phone theft earlier this year,” said Sebastian Cabello, Director of GSMA Latin America. “MNOs are acting proactively in order to address customers’ needs to both ensure increased transparency of services and maintain the security of consumers’ information and data.”
The GSMA is committed to working with MNOs in the Latin America region and around the world to adopt the following measures:
- Sending text messages to remind customers of their data roaming tariffs when they arrive in another country and turn on their mobile device;
- Implementing a monthly data roaming spending limit to help consumers manage their roaming bill and sending alerts when their data usage approaches the limit; and
- Temporarily suspending data service when usage exceeds the spending limit.
All national Latin American operations of the above listed MNO groups have agreed to implement these data roaming transparency measures starting now, with full completion by end of the first half of 2013. The GSMA has been promoting the adoption of roaming transparency measures across its membership of nearly 800 mobile operators worldwide following the launch of its global data roaming transparency initiative on 21 June 2012 1.
Roaming services in Latin America have been growing steadily following retail price reductions of up to 80 per cent since 2007 in some countries, through the provision of an increasing range of innovative pricing tariffs and the expansion of these additional services to prepaid customers. However, the availability of these roaming services is still constrained by several factors, including double taxation that can increase end-user prices by up to 40 per cent 2.
“Data usage is continually increasing in Latin America with the adoption of smartphones, tablets and new generation devices, and we look to continue working with regional operators to offer better, customised and more transparent services to customers,” added Delgado.
Notes to Editors:
On 17 July 2012 GSMA Latin America announced the commitment of the main MNOs in Latin America to collaborate with the regional governments in initiatives designed to reduce mobile phone theft and related crime. This voluntary initiative of GSM MNOs will allow the sharing of stolen mobile device information in order to block stolen devices and make their trafficking and reuse across the region more difficult. For more information on this announcement please see: http://www.gsma.com/latinamerica/latin-american-mobile-operators-commit-to-combat-mobile-device-theft/
2 AT Kearney report on Latin American roaming available and further roaming related resources can be found at: http://www.gsma.com/latinamerica/gsma-latin-america/roaming-latin-america/
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem , including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
GSMA Latin America is the branch of the GSMA in the region. Its regional public policy orientation is defined by the Chief Regulatory Officers Group for Latin America (CROG Latin America) comprised of senior public affairs representatives from 14 of the largest operator groups in Latin America and The Caribbean. For more information, visit www.gsmala.com .
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