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Ministers agree limit on roaming charges

An informal agreement to cut roaming charges has been reached by EU ministers from all 27 member states, Thursday. The ministers held the meeting at the CeBit annual tech-fest in Hannover, Germany.

As expected, the ministers have agreed to set a limit on roaming charges which could be made European law by June or July.

EC commissioner for media and information society Viviane Reding, hinted earlier Thursday that ministers were considering a cut. At one point she said that she expected Germany’s economics minister, Michael Glos, to persuade the ministers to reach an agreement.  Germany currently holds the EU presidency.

Reding provided no details on the pricing that ministers had agreed.

Sources have told Telecoms.com that the Commission is looking at rates of Eur 44 cents (30 pence) per minute for outgoing calls and around 15 cents per minute for incoming calls.

The European Commission wants to reduce roaming charges by up to 70 per cent and has recommended price ceilings at both wholesale and at retail level to ensure that charges are not unjustifiably higher than those incurred by domestic mobile phone use.

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