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September 17, 2013

Voip-PAL Mobile Gateway Tech Could Bring End to Roaming Charges in EU

Voip-PAL announced Monday that one of its solutions addresses the issue of roaming charges within the European Union (EU). Currently, the EU has a plan to phase out roaming beginning in 2014 and lasting two years. Price caps would be placed on long distance calls within the EU.

Other changes include an end to charges for incoming calls. Service providers would be obligated to charge their customers the same rate for all EU calls or allow them to change providers while traveling without changing their SIM card.

The plan hopes to unify regulation for all 28 member countries. Currently, any company that wants to operate in the EU must get a separate approval from each country that it wants to operate in. Instead of having to obtain 28 different approvals to operate within the entire EU, it would only take one approval under the new plan.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Voip-PAL develops various VoIP technologies and has a portfolio of patent applications with the goal of licensing the technologies once the patent applications are approved. The company also has a retail site, PlatinumPhone.com, through which it sells VoIP service plans.

Voip-PAL mobile gateway eliminates roaming through technology instead of regulation. When a call is made, the application detects if the call would be roaming or not. If it is roaming, the app uses one of a reserved bank of local telephone calls and the call becomes an Internet call with the same rate as a normal, non-roaming call. It’s completely transparent to the user and the mobile service provider.

Laissez-faire proponents would not care much for the EU’s latest proposal of phone regulations designed to limit various charges, but as they have in the past, technology makes that a moot point. Making a long distance call 60 years ago was costly, because it involved several operators over the length of the call to physically connect wiring through the call’s path. If your call was from New York to Los Angeles, you had what amounted to a 3,000 mile wire between you and the caller, and you paid through the nose for it.

Advances in wiring technology made such labor-intensive techniques obsolete. It appears that Voip-PAL’s mobile gateway may have dealt roaming in Europe a similar fate.


Edited by Alisen Downey

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