4/24/2009 5:19:00 PM
Operators must slash text message roaming rates
The European Parliament has voted to cap roaming charges for text messages by two thirds, lowering the cost to nine pence from 1 July.
MEPs meeting in Strasbourg approved legislation that cuts text messaging rates that have reached 41p. The cap amounts to an average reduction of about 60% in the cost of texting while abroad in the EU.
European regulators had already reached the agreement at the beginning of April that prices should be slashed, and were waiting for the proposal to be passed through the European Parliament.
The new rules will force operators to provide clear information on data charges for those using mobile broadband abroad and require that users are sent a warning when they have spent €50 (£44).
Data costs, such as those charged to surf the web or send emails, will be regulated at operator level. The rate will be a maximum of €1 (92p) per megabyte from July 2009, and will fall to 50 cents (46p) from July 2011.