EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has hinted that European mobile phone users may be charged for incoming calls on their handsets.
Reding made the statement in an interview given to The Financial Times in which she suggested that new phone charges could be on the cards.
When asked whether she supported the US-style charges, Reding said: "Why not? The whole market is developing so we should not stay on the rules that have been in place for 10 years."
While the statement has surprised many industry watchers, the potential move is part of a wide-ranging EU initiative to press mobile phone operators to cut the cost of texting and downloading data abroad.
The EU has already capped roaming charges for mobile phone users across Europe. Moving towards a US-style model could further cut overall charges by reducing the charges for dialling out.
Charges for incoming calls are not just the norm in the US. Mobile phone users in many Asian countries, including China and Singapore, also pay to receive phone calls.
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