EU agrees preliminary deal on mobile roaming fees

17 May 2007
Members of the European Parliament have arrived at a preliminary deal on cutting the roaming fees which Britons pay when they use their mobile phones on the continent.

The price caps agreed would limit the cost of receiving an incoming call while in another EU country at 24 euro cents per minute, while customers would pay up to a maximum of 49 euro cents for making outgoing calls.

These levels are set for just one year, with lower caps scheduled to be introduced for making and receiving calls in the second and third years of capped roaming charges.

All customers would be automatically covered by the capped charges unless they actively opted-out.

The proposed caps would come into effect from July 2007, cutting costs for the EU's 150 million mobile phone users during the summer break as they travel to other EU countries for holidays or business.

The European Parliament will vote on the proposed package next week.

Mobile phone operators gave mixed responses, as the GSM Association, an umbrella group for Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile, criticised the caps for constraining competition.

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