Great news for mobile users abroad .jpg

Great news for mobile users abroad

IF YOU’RE heading out of the country, you’ll be pleased to hear that a European Union campaign, to slash the cost of making mobile phone calls for customers travelling abroad, has already led to several operators agreeing to cut roaming charges. In the UK, after growing pressure, Vodafone, O2 and Orange have already put lower prices in place for the summer.

International roaming allows mobile phone users to make and receive calls and text messages while travelling abroad. The European Commission, which called on operators to reduce their charges in October 2005, said the reduced rates were a step in the right direction, but a representative said that these cuts were not enough to remove the need for a regulation to bring down international roaming charges.

Now other operators, including the UK’s T-Mobile, France’s Orange, Germany’s T-Mobile, Italy’s Wind and Telecom Italia, Norway’s Telenor SA and Sweden’s TeliaSonera, are also expected to sign up to an agreement to cut the prices they charge consumers. From October, the companies said they would cap the average wholesale rate they charge when a client from another provider uses their network, at 45 cents per minute. They plan to reduce the cap to 36 cents a minute from October 2007 – a cut of almost half from current wholesale prices. However, the EC is continuing to press ahead with its investigation into roaming charges.