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EU To Control Mobile Roam Charges

  • April 15th, 2007
  • Posted by Emma Cillekens

roam-phones.jpgEuropeans with mobile phones have been given a break.The European Union has started action to put caps on roaming charges, for the many times when citizens cross a nearby border, as Emma Cillekens reports.

Mobile charges are changing their tune.

The Industry Committee of the European Parliament has taken the first step (12.4.07), by recommending a regulation to put controls on mobile phone charges for roaming.

The regulation is to be made by the full Parliament, together with the European Commission and the Council – made up of Ministers from the member countries of the EU.

This decision is in line with other European Commission policies, aiming to maintain a single, open market, and permit the maximum free movement of people, goods and services.

The Information Society and Media spokesperson for the European Commission, Martin Selmayr, says the changes will significantly drop charges, altering the way Europeans use their mobile phones

“It’s very good news for European consumers”, he told journalists.

“The Commission wants to allow charges of no more than 40 cents per minute of mobile calls made abroad, and no more than 15 cents to receive calls abroad.” (A$0.65 and A$0.24; dcerates.com, 15.4.07).

He says the best part of the decision is that low roaming tariffs will apply automatically, giving mobile phone users an opt out option.

“We welcome this.

“An opt out option is easy to handle; it avoids red tape for both consumers and operators,” he said.

According to Mr Selmayr users won’t have to wait long to benefit from the reduced roaming charges.

“We believe that it is possible with the combined will and effort of the parliament, council and commission to secure lower roaming tariffs by this July”.

The next step in the process will see the legislation go to the vote at the full European Parliament in May, and then, assuming it is passed, to the EU Telecoms Council at Luxembourg in June.

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