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Europe gears up for cheaper roaming
|09 июня 2009|
Ministers from the European Union's member states on Monday approved initiatives to reduce mobile roaming rates from 1 July.
The Council of Ministers gave the official green light to a series of new regulations designed to cap roaming charges, effectively removing the last procedural hurdle that stood in the way of the rules coming into force next month.
"European citizens... will be able to go on holiday this summer and roam with peace of mind and without the fear of 'bill shocks'," said European telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding, who has campaigned at length to have these charges reduced.
The European Parliament voted in favour of the new rules in April.
From 1 July the cost of making a roaming call will be capped at €0.43 per minute while receiving calls will cost €0.19 per minute.
Mobile data roaming charges will be capped at €1.00 per megabyte, sending text messages will cost a maximum of €0.11, while charges for accessing voicemail while abroad will be scrapped altogether.
In a statement the European Commission said the new regulations will lead to reductions of up to 60% on consumers' roaming bills.
In addition, operators will be required to implement per-second billing after the first 30 seconds of a roaming call, rather than charging per minute as they do at present, which the Commission claims will cut bills by as much as 24%.
The President of the European Parliament and the Council Presidency will formally sign the regulation on 18 June which will then be published in the EU's Official Journal a few days later, the Commission explained.
This will enable the new roaming rules to come into force in all of the 27 EU member states on 1 July.
Источник: Total Telecom