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EU roaming prices slashed from summer

Calls capped at 33p a minute

The EC (European Commission) released a new roaming initiative today that will force mobile roaming prices to drop this summer.

You will pay no more than 49 cents (about 33p) a minute for calls you make and 24 cents (16p) a minute on calls you receive following the change. The prices are set to reduce even further in 2008 and 2009.

Telephone companies will be given one month from the release of the new regulations to offer the reduced prices to their customers.

Viviane Reding, telecoms commissioner for the EU (European Union), said: "Mobile phone customers will start benefiting from substantially reduced roaming charges when travelling from one EU country to another. Europe's internal market will finally become truly borderless, even for mobile phone bills."

In July last year the EC, which is the EU's executive and regulatory body, proposed a regulation to reduce mobile roaming charges within the EU by up to 70 percent. Despite these efforts, repeated calls to mobile operators using mobile phones in other EU countries remained on average four times more expensive than domestic mobile calls. This resulted in the EU regulation being approved by the European Parliament today and price caps, or Eurotariff, being introduced today.

The Council of EU Telecom Ministers is expected to endorse the EU Roaming Regulation on 7 June and the regulation will then become directly applicable law throughout all 27 EU member states following its publication in the EU's Official Journal, expected in mid June.

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