Roaming charges in Europe could be banned, leaked legislation suggests

The European Commission could be preparing to make mobile network roaming charges illegal in Europe, a leaked copy of draft legislation suggests.

The move could bring about the end the woes of holidaymakers, as well as offering a benefit for those travelling on business, who currently face high charges for using mobile services when travelling outside their home country.

But with roaming charges being a good source of revenue, the proposals - fronted by Neelie Kroes, a Commission vice-president who tackles digital affairs - have attracted opposition from mobile networks. Vodafone, Telefonica - operators of the O2 network - and Orange have suggested that the move to ban roaming charges would cost them £5.9billion. Some might not have much sympathy for that plea.

The European Commission has already made moves to reduce roaming charges, with some mobile networks already starting to lighten the load on customers. Three most recently announced that it was dropping roaming charges for a number of territories, including Ireland, Austria, Sweden and Denmark.

It could be that by 2014 you'll be able to travel around Europe using your mobile phone without having to pay heavily for it.

"We don't give a running commentary on the proposals but we are committed to putting in place a method that pushes roaming out of the market," a spokesman for Kroes told The Guardian, reporting on the proposed changes.



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