From July, mobile phone charges for EU citizens when travelling inside the bloc will become cheaper. The cuts agreed by MEPs reduce once more the gap between foreign and domestic call rates – the aim is for parity by 2015. The new rules also include caps on data roaming for smartphones and tablets.
‘‘These are significant price cuts, sending data, for example, costs between 2 to 3 euros per gigabyte. Soon it will drop to 20 cents – so it really is a substantial cut,’‘ Robert Goebbels MEP said.
MEPs overwhelmingly backed the new rates. It means the cost of calls will fall this year from the existing rate of 35 cents a minute to 29. Texts are also going to drop slightly from 11 to 9 cents.
Currently operators can charge what they like for data transmission but from 2014 a ceiling of 20 cents per megabyte will come in.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels euronews’ Raquel Garcia Alvarez said: ‘‘To block cartels, the European Parliament has also asked the EU Commission to look into fixing a single mobile tariff across the bloc by no later than 2016, if there is found to be a lack of competition between the big telephone operators dominating the market.’‘