GSMA Launches Data Roaming Transparency Initiative

New Measures Aim to Help Consumers Better Understand and Manage Data Usage, Addressing Head-On the Issue of Bill Shock

21 June 2012, Shanghai: At the Mobile Asia Expo, the GSMA announced that it has launched an initiative that will provide consumers greater visibility of their roaming charges and usage of mobile data services when travelling abroad. At a meeting held this week in Shanghai, 24 operator groups, including América Móvil, 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, Telefónica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Verizon Communications, VimpelCom and Vodafone Group agreed to undertake a number of measures which will help mobile subscribers better understand their data roaming charges and more effectively manage their use of data services.

“A number of our operator members are already implementing sound transparency practices, benefitting more than a billion subscribers worldwide,” said Franco Bernabè, Chairman of the GSMA and Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia Group. “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.”

The GSMA is committed to working with mobile operators worldwide 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.

In the first phase of this initiative, these operators and their group subsidiaries have agreed to implement these data roaming transparency measures by the end of 2012, covering more than 4 billion mobile connections worldwide. The GSMA will also work to promote the adoption of these guidelines across its full membership base of nearly 800 mobile operators globally.  Further, the GSMA will develop a trust mark that will identify to consumers that their mobile operator is implementing these measures.

Note (3rd August 2012): Subsequent to the June announcement, NTT DOCOMO has also agreed to implement these data roaming transparency measures.


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, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at 

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