CONSUMER groups have welcomed news that mobile phone roaming charges are to be scrapped in the European Union from next year, claiming it could bring cheaper foreign networks to the UK market.
European Commission officials have reportedly met in Brussels where they agreed that the charges for texts, calls and internet access will be scrapped by this time next year. Roaming charges have been capped and y reduced in recent years amid backlash against large bills.
The move is believed to be likely to wipe 2 per cent off mobile operators’ revenues and open the door for European mobile operators not currently providing a service in the UK.
“Scrapping all roaming charges in EU countries is a real win for consumers,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com “Not only will we be better protected from bill shock, but the doors will be open to foreign networks looking for a piece of the market in Britain, which could mean cheaper mobile deals too.”
He added: “But Brits still need to be extremely careful when using mobiles in non-EU countries where there is still no protection at all.”
Richard Lloyd, the executive director of Which? said: “This would put an end to uncertainty about using mobiles abroad and cut bill shocks off at source. Plans to increase competition and choice in this market could also lower mobile bills.”