Entries with tag cellular communication.

EU Slashes Mobile Roaming Fees in Half

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, has set new roaming fees just in time for the peak summer travel season. Charges for accessing the Internet via mobile devices while traveling across the 28-nation EU bloc will be capped, cutting fees by at least half, depending on how much data is accessed. For example, the price for a megabyte of data was lowered from 45 to 20 euro cents. The EC lowered the price of both phone calls and text messages by roughly 25 percent. EU officials want to completely eliminate roaming fees by 2016. Because of high roaming charges, the EC found in a study earlier this year, Europeans curtail their Web use while traveling on vacation. EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said, “Consumers are fed up with being ripped off.” (Associated Press)(BBC)

US Agency Charges LA Building Owner for Lights that Interfere with Communications

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cited a Los Angeles office building owner has been cited by for interfering with local cellular communications. The FCC says fluorescent lights at Ernst & Young Plaza, a 41-story  building near downtown, emit frequencies that interfere with a Verizon Wireless 700-MHz network. The commission thus cited the building’s owner, Brookfield Office Properties, which reportedly has investigated the matter without submitting the findings to the FCC. Verizon previously complained to the FCC about the interference prompting the agency’s investigation. The FCC has requested the results of the building owner’s internal investigation, as well as steps it is taking to resolve the issue, within 60 days. The commission could fine Brookfield as much as $16,000 per day, up to a total of $112,500, and seek criminal sanctions if it keeps using the lighting. The company—which says it is committed to resolving technical issues associated with its properties—has 30 days to challenge the FCC findings. The problem is reportedly a General Electric lighting fixture transformer that emits high-frequency radio signals. Fixture maker General Electric provided information about how consumers can replace bad fixtures, according to the FCC. This is reportedly the same fixture found last year to be interfering with an AT&T 700-MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) cell site in San Antonio, Texas. (SlashDot)(Fierce Wireless)(PC World)

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