Roaming charges to be scrapped in Europe

Phone and globe

The European Parliament has voted to end roaming charges for mobile phone users across the continent.

The move, which will see millions of consumers protected from sky-high phone bills when they use their phone abroad, will be introduced in December 2015.

Countless consumers have been hit hard in the pocket and left shocked when they receive their telephone bill after using it in a foreign country.

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes said: "Nearly all of us depend on mobile and internet connections as part of our daily lives. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped-off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind. Companies should have the chance to serve all of us, and this regulation makes it easier for them to do that. It's win-win."

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, welcomed the move. He said: "The death of roaming charges can't come soon enough. Brits abroad already have limited protection from post-holiday bill shock within the EU but, even so, our research shows that 12% of UK mobile customers have fallen foul of roaming charges in Europe - averaging £120 each on top of their typical monthly bills.

"Technically, this move means foreign mobile networks could start to chase British custom, which could mean cheaper deals due to stiffer competition. Good news for mobile customers, not such good news for mobile networks, who will see their bottom lines impacted and could attempt to claw back the shortfall by raising bills across the board."

However, he added: "British holidaymakers still need to be extremely careful as there is relatively little protection against roaming outside the EU. Anyone taking their mobiles abroad should always check before they travel to find out the costs, and what they can do to reduce them."

The proposal still requires approval from EU governments.

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