Roaming charges may be slashed further

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 12:00

Text messages across the European Union are set to become cheaper next year if plans to slash mobile charges go through in July.

Mobile phone companies have already seen charges made for roaming services limited on voice calls throughout the EU, but telecommunications commissioner Viviane Reding wants to see other mobile charges capped.

The European Parliament will vote on the recommendations in the spring, which means the new regime could be ready in time for summer next year.

Currently, mobile phone companies are limited to charging a maximum of about 34p a minute for making calls, and 17p to receive a call.

Ms Reding wants to see these charges cut further, as well as setting a cap for text messages and a limit on data downloads.

This could stop the shocks some consumers have been receiving upon returning home from their holidays to find a bill for hundreds of pounds after they downloaded TV or film content while abroad.

“I have announced today that enough is enough,” Ms Reding said.

“We have to do it [regulation] top down from Brussels in the interests of consumers.”

However, UK regulatory body Ofcom has warned the recommendations could be open to legal challenges unless the Commission supplies analyses in support.

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