The European Union looks set to agree on a cap for roaming charges that will cut the cost of using mobile phones abroad.
Neelie Kroes, Digital Agenda Commissioner, put the proposals for the new caps to the EU, which resulted in a preliminary deal agreed to by the European Parliament and the Council. The proposal still requires a formal vote to be undertaken by the Parliament, but the new agreement should come into play on July 1st.
The new regulations would make the cost of making a call no more than £0.29 per minute, and to receive, only £0.08 per minute. There would be further cuts to cost after July 2014, making the cost of calls £0.19 to make and £0.05 to receive. To text to other EU countries would be no more than £0.09, and then £0.06 from July 2014.
Customers would also be given the choice of stand-alone roaming phone services, without having to change their mobile phone number, from July 2014. When a customer crosses a border, their device will switch to their previously selected provider, or they can choose once they arrive. The Commission concludes that this will encourage customers to shop around for the best deal.