EC enquiry into mobile phone charges welcomed

24 October 2007
An inquiry into high mobile phone charges when users travel abroad has been welcomed by

Rob Barnes, head of mobiles for the financial comparison website, expressed the company's backing of an investigation by the European commission (EC) into the high fees allegedly charged by British mobile phone companies.

Mr Barnes hopes that the move will lead to a price reduction in the costs involved in using a mobile phone abroad, such as when texting, using the internet and downloading data.

Some customers are paying up to double the price it costs to download data on their mobile phone in the UK when they are abroad, he noted.

Both O2 and Orange charge £6 per megabite (Mb) downloaded compared to a £3 per Mb charge in the UK, while T-Mobile charges up to £7.50 per Mb when its customers are abroad, according to research by

"Customers are often not aware of the vast expense of texting or using the internet when travelling overseas and we believe that networks should do more to inform people of the high costs involved," Mr Barnes said.

Recent research by first direct found that there are now more mobile phones than people in Britain today with ten per cent of people owning four or more handsets.

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