It has been a long battle for European travellers and business people shocked by the size of their mobile phone bills. But now relief is in sight. EU lawmakers have today voted in favour of a plan to cut the cost of using mobile phones abroad in the 27-member bloc.
Observers say the project is part of a new drive to win back public support for the union, by addressing their most pressing concerns. EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding said: “Eighty percent of roamers in Europe are businessmen and it’s unfair to them what is happening.”
After the summer the EU roaming tariff will be 49 euro cents a minute for making calls abroad and 24 cents for receiving them. The tariff will fall even further in the second year. But after more reductions in the third year the caps on prices will lapse, unless reaffirmed by EU states and the bloc’s parliament. Under the new plan citizens can expect to pay a quarter or a fifth of what they currently pay. Individual states are expected to give the final green light to the plan at a meeting on June 29.