Capped roaming charges allow holidaymakers to phone home

British holidaymakers will soon be able to phone home safe in the knowledge that a horrifying phone bill won't be waiting for them when they return.

mobile phone roaming charges capped

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The European Parliament has reportedly approved a series of caps on the cost of making calls and using the Internet on a mobile phone while travelling anywhere in the EU.

From July 1, the cap on mobile calls from abroad will drop from 28p a minute to 23p a minute, and by 2014, it will be slashed further to 15p a minute.

The same will be true for mobile Internet use, on which there is currently no limit to what suppliers can charge. This summer a cap of 56p per megabyte will be introduced and that is expected to drop to just 16p by 2014. Roaming charges for texting and receiving calls will also be cut.

Consumer groups and MPs have welcomed the move but say the charges are still too high.

Monique Goyens, from the European consumer group BEUC, told the Daily Mail that "given the proliferation of smartphones and, more notably, the actual cost of data provision for operators, this is still too high."

She added: "The issue of transparency remains a concern. A recent EU-wide survey found 74 per cent of consumers are hesitant to use their phone abroad to call, check email or download photos for fear of cost. This latest battle for fairer pricing can only help reduce that number."

The cap on roaming charges will no apply for anyone travelling outside the EU but those that holiday further afield will receive a warning message from their supplier when their data download charge is approaching £40.

What do you think? Welcome news or are the charges still too high? Leave your comments below...