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Lower data roaming charges are on the way

The European Commission has proposed new roaming charges for data usage on mobile devices, for when travelling abroad and outside of the home country.

These new proposals are to stop the 'bill shock' after a holiday or business trip, where a mobile phone has been used to gain Internet access and the resulting bill is very high indeed.

The EU guidelines are aimed at Europe mobile phone companies with a view to dramatically lower roaming costs for the consumer, along with implementing measures to make the whole market much more competitive.

These rules would help to achieve a target set by the EU's digital agenda for 2015, for a seamless communications market to eliminate the large differences between domestic and roaming rates.

The plan requires domestic operators to allow other providers access to their networks at regulated wholesale prices.

Consumers would also be able to switch from their domestic operator to another roaming provider, where the switch would be automatic – without a change of phone number or SIM card.

In 2010 consumers paid an average of €1.06 per MB to download data in another EU country, with prices going up to €12 per MB in some cases.

There will be a price cap for data roaming to reduce charges to no more than 90 cents per megabyte from July 2012, falling to 50 cents by July 2014.

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Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.