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European Parliament to cap data roaming

Plans to lower the cost of mobile use abroad

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The European Parliament has announced plans to cap data roaming charging, limiting the amount that mobile networks can charge for internet services abroad.

In response to high roaming charges from mobile providers, the European Parliament is proposing to significantly lower the cost that can be charged for roaming, as well as opening up these services to other providers. 

The proposal, which is to be voted on in May, aims to see an end to over-inflated charges for data roaming by enforcing a cap, starting at €0.70 per MB in July of this year, and coming down to €0.20 in 2014. 

Voice roaming will also be affected, with prices being lowered to €0.29 per minute in 2012, and €0.19 by 2014.

Consumer choice

The move is being seen as a way to encourage more competition between mobile providers, and increase customer choice when using their mobile phones abroad. If the measures are approved, consumers will be able to purchase roaming services from providers other than their own, while still retaining their phone number.

Legislation was originally introduced by the European Parliament in 2010, making it a requirement to offer customers a cut-off facility for data roaming charges. This was introduced to curb so called ‘bill-shocks’, where consumers received large bills due to their data usage.

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