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The maximum retail prices for roaming calls will be reduced all over the European Union tomorrow (1 July) and will stay low until 30 June 2012 when a new roaming directive is due to take effect.
By Friday, consumers opting for the EU-regulated 'Eurotariff' should pay no more than 35 cents per minute for calls made and 11 cents per minute for calls received while abroad in the EU.
This is the last in the series of regulated price cuts under the current EU roaming regulation, which expires at the end of June 2012.
Neelie Kroes, the EU commissioner for telecoms, has long held a grudge against roaming tariffs with the desired result of having zero difference between roaming and national telecoms tariffs.
"The Commission will therefore be coming forward very shortly with comprehensive new proposals for long-term solutions to address the underlying problem of lack of competition in roaming markets," Kroes said in a statement today.
During the last round of regulation, a data roaming cut-off limit was introduced to prevent bill shocks like inordinate charges for access to the Internet on a mobile phone.
Consumers are also meant to receive a text message once they have reached a ceiling of data roaming to prevent any nasty surprises.
A Eurobarometer survey found that almost three quarters of Europeans were worried about their mobile phone bills while abroad.
The survey showed 72% of travellers still limit their roaming calls because of high charges even if a majority is aware that prices have fallen since 2006.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently warned that without better levels of competition in the sector, roaming prices would never come down to acceptable levels.
In June the OECD examined roaming charges at 68 separate operators worldwide and made the case for stronger consumer protection and empowerment as they lose out to a lack of competitive alternatives on the market.
"Current pricing levels indicate that there is, in general terms, either insufficient retail or wholesale competition," the OECD study concluded.