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IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

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Business

EU slashes mobile roaming fees by more than half

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-01

The European Commission on Tuesday ruled to slash fees for surfing the Internet on mobile devices while travelling within the 28-nation EU bloc by a massive 55 percent, announcing the cut just in time for the summer holidays.

With immediate effect, the new price cap for one megabyte of data will be lowered to 20 euro cents from 45 euro cents, while the cost of phone calls and text messaging services across national borders will decrease by about 25 percent.

The bloc’s executive Commission – keen on being seen as helping the EU’s 500 million consumers at a time when anti-EU sentiment is on the rise in many countries – started cracking down on the fees in 2007 and seeks to abolish them altogether by 2016.

“This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer,” said Neelie Kroes, the EU telecoms commissioner. In a YouTube video posted on the Commission's website, Kroes went even further: "Great news! This new deal puts an end to roaming rip-offs."

While there is broad agreement among member states on consumer friendly measures such as the elimination of roaming fees, other aspects, including the sale of mobile licenses, are still opposed by some governments.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-07-01

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