Operators to make mobiles safer for children

15 mobile and content providers signed a EU-wide framework this morning

Mobile and content providers across Europe today signed a framework aimed at making mobile use safer for children and teenagers.

This morning 15 parties from the mobile industry signed the European Framework for Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children as part of Safer Internet Day .

The EU-wide framework will put forward recommendations to ensure that children and teens can access safe content on their mobile phones. National voluntary agreements between mobile providers and content communities have already been implemented successfully, the European Commission's information society and media commissioner Viviane Reding said.

Specific issues addressed by the framework include access control mechanisms; classification of commercial content; fighting illegal content online; and raising awareness and education.

"The timing could not have been more pertinent as this fourth edition of Safer Internet Day mainly focuses on child safety and mobile phones. The coming together, on such a significant day, of so many representatives from the mobile industry shows that child protection is indeed a top priority for the sector," said Kaisu Karvala, chairman of GSM Europe , the European trade organisation for mobile operators.

"Mobile and content providers, in collaboration with NGOs [non-government organisations] and other stakeholders, have already developed national codes of conduct in a number of EU member states. The aim of this initiative is to support the development of frameworks in the rest of the EU", Karvala added.

Mobile providers across Europe already work with customers, parents and other stakeholders, including child protection organisations, to promote safer mobile use, GSM Europe said.

The mobile and content providers that signed the agreement will work towards implementing the framework through self-regulation at national levels in the EU countries.

The framework was signed by Bouygues Telecom, Cosmote Group, Deutsche Telekom Group/T-Mobile, Hutchison 3G Europe, Jamba! GmbH, Mobile Entertainment Forum, MobIsle Communications Ltd (operating under the brand name of Go Mobile), Orange S.A., Royal KPN N.V., SFR, Telecom Italia S.p.A, Telefonica S.A., Telenor, TeliaSonera, and Vodafone Group Services Limited.