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Mobile roaming charges to drop as MEPs vote for cuts

Using your mobile abroad will cost less from July – with limits on data charges for the first time.

Image: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ROAMING CHARGES FOR mobile users will be cut ahead of the holiday season after MEPs green-lit new caps on the amount operators can charge.

The new regulations, which will apply from July 1, will have an especially dramatic effect on the cost of data use while abroad. This will be capped at 70c per megabyte – a number that will drop further to 45c in 2013 and 20c in 2014.

Currently, mobile companies can charge an unlimited amount for data used while travelling.

Meanwhile, voice calls will be capped at 29c per minute, down from the current level of 35c.

Text messages will cost a maximum of 9c each, a figure that will fall to just 6c by July 2014.

From 2014, the new rules will also give consumers the right to shop around between roaming operators – even buying their domestic and roaming services separately. It’s hoped this will increase competition and further bring down prices.

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MEPs voted for the new regulations by an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament today. There were 578 votes in favour, 10 against and 10 abstentions.

The ballot effectively rubber-stamps the legislation which was agreed by the parliament’s Industry Committee in March. It will now be approved by the EU Council of Ministers.

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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