Last Thursday, the European Commission (EC) stepped closer to its goal of reducing rates for mobile text messaging and data roaming, as the Council of European Union (EU) Telecom Ministers approved retail and wholesale price caps proposed by the EC. The EC’s plan to cap retail rates for roamed text messages at €0.11 and to impose a wholesale limit of €1.00 per megabyte on mobile data roaming follows on the implementation of rules last year that capped wholesale and retail rates throughout the EU for wireless voice calls placed and received outside wireless subscribers’ home markets. Observers also say that the proposed retail cap of €0.11 represents a significant departure from current mobile text message roaming rates that average €0.29 throughout the EU. Anticipating final approval by the European Parliament, EC Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said she was “confident that, with Parliament, we will ensure that consumers traveling in the EU will save money when sending texts and surfing the web with a mobile phone as of July 1, 2009.”