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EU mobile phone roaming charges set to change

Mobile phone roaming charges across the European Union will be reduced by 75 per cent before a full ban is put in place.

For anyone wishing to use their phone in Europe from 30 April, roaming charges will be capped at ‘ 0.05 (3p) per minute of call made, ‘ 0.02 (1p) per SMS sent, and ‘ 0.05 (3p) per MB of data, excluding VAT. The limitations will be in effect until 15 June 2017 when all such charges are prohibited and their usage will be same wherever they go in the EU. The new rules have been introduced to prevent consumers receiving large bills from downloading films or using internet data abroad.

European Commission vice president Andrus Ansip, who is responsible for Digital Single Market, said the decision was “not only about money, this is about bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market”. EU Commissioner Gunther H Oettinger said this move showed that the European Union could deliver tangible results to improve the daily life of European citizens. He added that “roaming charges will be soon old memories”.

More than nine million UK mobile phone users suffer from so-called “bill shock” from using their phones while holidaying abroad each year, according to research by comparison website uSwitch.

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