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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 11:13 GMT
Cost of texting from abroad could drop
Texting BBC News on a mobile phone
The cost of texting from UK mobile networks while out of the country could be set to drop
The cost of sending text messages to the UK from abroad is set to come down.

Last year, EU regulations made it cheaper to make home phone calls from other countries.

Now mobile phone regulators are demanding that the price of roaming charges for texting and internet services are now slashed too.

Ofcom boss Ed Richards will call for the changes at a meeting of European telecom regulators today.

According to the latest figures, over 200bn text messages were sent across western Europe last year and the Mobile Data Association estimates that more than a billion are sent every week by British users.

But while the average cost of sending a text in Britain is 5.6p, sending a text from abroad is around 21p, even though it doesn't actually cost the mobile companies much more.

Internet roaming prices under fire

Accessing the internet from your mobile is also a lot more expensive once you leave the UK - viewing up to 200 webpages in the UK is about 1.50, but costs an average 4.11 when you're abroad.

The European average is just 3.90 - and UK charges could be capped to a similar price if Ofcom gets its way.

Despite a fierce battle with the industry, last year the European telecoms commission forced through price cuts of up to 70% in the cost of making a call overseas.

Under the new price caps, UK mobile phone operators cannot charge more than 38p a minute to make a call in Europe.

But the price caps did not include either texts or mobile data roaming charges which is way Ofcom are now asking for similar cuts in price.

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