EC votes to end roaming fees, wants single European telecoms market

In a bid to create a single European telecoms market, the European Commission voted on Tuesday to end roaming fees for voice calls, texts and Internet access.

The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that 27 European Commissioners voted to scrap the fees, with the changes going into effect by 1 July 2014. The vote is part of a broader effort to form a single European telecoms market and encourage competition among mobile networks.

Regulations for reining in pricey cellular bills already exist, but the new reforms would uniquely push European mobile network operators to end fragmentation and roaming fees. The European Commission will publish detailed proposals within the next six weeks.

The commissioners specifically look to "wipe 2pc off mobile operators revenues," according to the Telegraph's report, and consolidate the many companies and services offered across the 27-member states into a single market.

While banning roaming charges would cut mobile operators' revenues, the networks will eventually benefit from customers using their smartphones abroad more often.

There are currently no plans to ban charges for mobile termination or connecting calls, another set of fees often under contention.