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EU to further slash roaming charges

March 29, 2012 11:30 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Bill Newton Dunn, East Midlands LibDem MEP, welcomes deal on legislation to cut especially data roaming charges in the EU by the summer.

On Tuesday night a deal was reached between the European Parliament and Europe's governments which would for the first time cap data roaming charges, as well as lowering roaming costs for calls and SMS texts when using your mobile abroad.

The legislation still needs to be approved by a vote of all ofEurope's MEPs in May. But assuming it passes, prices will reduce incrementally over the next three years. The first cut on 1 July this year will cap calls at 24p a minute, falling to 16p by 1 July 2014. Meanwhile, texting abroad will be cut to 8p this year and 5p in 2014.

The new rules will also, from 2014, give ordinary private customers the option to sign up for a cheaper mobile roaming contract, separate from their contract for national mobile services, whilst using the same phone number. This will encourage mobile companies to compete on the roaming market and therefore reduce prices.

Bill Newton Dunn commented:

"We need to stimulate real competition among mobile operators and guarantee fair roaming prices for UK consumers who are on holiday or travelling for work"

"Consumers should not have to pay over the odds when in other EU countries. This legislation will be a big step forward towards ending the rip-off

"Data roaming charges are particularly extortionate, yet it's clear that ordinary people as well as business people are using smartphones more and more, wherever they are. So this first EU price cap for mobile data services is vital, and will undoubtedly benefit everyone.