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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Ministers back roaming charge cut
Mobile phone users in London
Consumers should benefit from the price cuts from September
European Union telecoms ministers have backed rules that cut the amount mobile phone companies are allowed to charge customers for using their phone abroad.

Member states are now expected to formally adopt the new rules on 25 June so they can be published on 29 June.

Operators will then have one month to make new offers to customer and another month to change clients' contracts.

The maximum charges for making and receiving calls abroad will fall gradually over the next three years.

In the first year the maximum tariff for making a call from another EU country will be 33 pence a minute while the charge for receiving a call will be 16p a minute.

In the second year the charges will be cut to 31p and 16p respectively, falling to 29p and 13p in the third year.

Text charges next?

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has warned mobile phone companies that she may also look into what they charge to send text messages and data abroad.

"The operators should know this, heed these warning signals very carefully and bring the prices down to normal by themselves in order to avoid further regulation," she said.

The operators have opposed the price caps, saying that they will damage competition and reduce investment in networks.

They say that roaming charges were falling anyway.


SEE ALSO
EU caps roaming mobile phone fees
23 May 07 |  Business
Q&A: Mobile phone charges
23 May 07 |  Business
EU close to roaming charge deal
15 May 07 |  Europe
Summer roaming cost cut at risk
03 May 07 |  Europe
EU 'agrees' cap on mobile charges
16 Mar 07 |  Business

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