MEPs vote to cut roaming charges

The European Parliament has voted through a compromise agreement on roaming charges for call phone calls in Europe, which could come into effect next month.

A compromise on rates was reached between MEPs and the European presidency earlier in May, and the agreement has now been voted through by a strong majority.

The European wholesale rate, which one operator can charge another for consumers who roam on their network, has been set at 20p per minute. The retail rate, which an operator charges a mobile user, has been agreed at 33p per minute for calls made and 16p per minute for calls received.

Both wholesale and retail rates will drop by a few eurocents each year during the legislation’s three-year life span.

The new rates represent a substantial reduction for consumers travelling from one EU country to another.

However the GSM Association, the mobile industry’s trade body, believes the price caps are unnecessary and result in worse deals for consumers in the long term.

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