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Roaming charges to be capped next week

CHECKING email, surfing the web and making and taking mobile phone calls will be 36pc cheaper from Monday in a welcome move for holidaymakers as the EU cuts roaming charges.

The EU is to restrict the price that mobile carriers like Vodafone and France Telecom can charge customers for checking email, watching videos and phoning home.

Mobile phone companies will not be allowed to charge more than 45c per megabyte for customers visiting other EU countries, compared to the 70c limit set a year ago.

There is even more good news from July of next year when the charges will be reduced further to a maximum charge for data of 20c.

Data roaming has grown by 650pc since 2007 and with the new tariffs prices will be 91pc cheaper than in 2007.

Price caps right across the EU from Monday next will include

* making calls – 24c a minute plus VAT – down 17pc on 2012

* receiving calls – 7c a minute plus VAT – down 12.5pc on 2012.

* sending a text message – 8c plus VAT – down 11pc on 2012

* downloading data or browsing the internet –45c per Megabyte plus VAT - down 36pc on 2012.

The European Commission, in announcing the new prices, stressed that operators could offer lower prices, but that some companies had taken to eliminating roaming altogether.

The cuts are part of EC vice president Neelie Kroes's agenda to make the market for European telecommunications companies more unified.

"The price cuts put more money in your pocket for summer and are a critical step towards getting rid of these premiums," she said.

c.sheehy@herald.ie


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