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EU Parliament votes to ban roaming charges

The EU Parliament has voted to ban European roaming charges by Christmas 2015.

By the close of 2015, you’ll be able to use your mobile device to make calls, send messages and browse the internet for the same price as you do at home in the UK.

The European Parliament has voted to end roaming charges as part of wider telecoms reforms, including a proposed regulation for “Connected Continent”.

Today’s vote saw the legislation win by 534 votes to 25 in an overwhelming majority. It still requires final approval from the EU governments, but is due to take effect from December 15 2015.

“This vote is the EU delivering for citizens. This is what the EU is all about – getting rid of barriers to make life easier and less expensive”, said Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President.

“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.”

A survey carried out in February by the European Commission revealed that 94 per cent of Europeans limit their web use because of the staggering roaming charges.

In 2013, the EU legislated to lower the costs of European roaming charges, forcing operators to lower their fees.

The internet data costs when roaming were capped to 45 cents (39p) per MB, down from the original 70 cents (60p) per MB in 2012.

“In 2010 I promised to end roaming charges by the end of 2015, and now we are one step away from achieving that result,” added Kroes. “Beyond the highly visible barrier of roaming we are now close to removing many other barriers so Europeans can enjoy open, seamless communications wherever they are”.

Read more: Best mobile phones 2014

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