Cost of mobile calls in Europe could be cappedAgreement should be reached by summer

17 March 2007

The cost of making mobile phone calls across Europe looks set to be capped at less than 35p a minute.

The move is set to follow an EU agreement to cut 'roaming' charges for using mobile phones abroad.

European ministers emerged from a meeting in Germany confident that a solution could be in place by the summer to reduce prices.

Trade minister Margaret Hodge said: 'I'm glad to see the commitment of all countries for an early agreement so that consumers benefit from lower prices.

'I'm confident that all countries also recognise the need to ensure that retail controls protect consumers over time while also allowing innovation and increased competition in the market.

'It is competition that will drive down prices.

Cost reductions

'We need to make sure that any deal agreed is the right one - one that delivers cost reductions for all consumers.

'We cannot allow short-term populism to damage consumer interest over the longer term.

'The best deal for consumers will be secured through an effective, competitive market, which will act to keep prices down in the long term.'

'I look forward to intensive work with parliament and member states for an agreement by summer.'

Which? Senior Researcher Ceri Stanaway said: 'This is great news for consumers who have been paying far too much for roaming calls for far too long. People shouldn't end up spending more on their mobile phone bill in Europe than many pay for their flights.'