MEPs vote to reduce mobile roaming charges

MEPs in Strasbourg have backed plans to reduce roaming charges for mobile telephone users within the European Union.

The European Parliament voted in favour of an EU Regulation to substantially reduce the charges for using mobile phones between EU countries.

The EU Regulation, which the European Commission proposed last year, will now enter into force before many EU citizens enjoy their summer holidays.

Mobile roaming charges within the EU will fall to 49 cent for making a call and 24 cent for receiving a call. This will then be reduced to 46 cents and 22 cents by 2008 and then 43 cents and 19 cents by 2009.

"Today is a good day for consumers and business travellers in the EU," says EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. "In a record time of only 10 months, a political agreement could be reached on the EU Roaming Regulation, thanks to the impressive support of the European Parliament and the negotiation skills of the German Presidency. This means that already from this summer, mobile phone customers will start benefiting from substantially reduced roaming charges when travelling from one EU country to another. Europe's internal market will finally become truly borderless, even for mobile phone bills."

Despite the Commission's repeated calls to mobile operators, using mobile phones in other EU countries was on average around four times more expensive than domestic mobile phone calls.


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