The European Union has backed a plan to regulate the charges for mobile phone roaming.
The Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament voted to cap the cost of calls made abroad at €0.40 a minute, with a €0.15 a minute charge for receiving calls while abroad.
Another branch of the European Union had already backed the regulation of roaming fees, in a vote which took place last month.
However, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, asked for caps of €0.50 and €0.25 respectively.
In order for the caps to be installed during the first full vote in June, the plenary of the parliament and the EU member states must agree on the key details.
Before today's vote, Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said that a political agreement on lower roaming tariffs was now within reach.
"In this important phase of the legislative procedure, it is of crucial importance to ensure that all consumers in the EU will be able to benefit from lower roaming charges, and that no one is left behind," she said.
"I warn against a regulation that would only lead to lower roaming charges for new customers."
Sherry Madera, founder and CEO of international mobile telephony firm AwayPhone, said that in theory the latest ruling was fantastic news for the consumer.
"Mobile operators have been using mobile roaming as a huge profit generator at the expense of the international traveller for too long," she said.
"However, the devil may be in the detail of the regulations and it is unclear what the caveats may be around the caps on roaming charges."
Madera said the general idea is for "up to" 70 per cent cheaper rates, but asked if that would leave any room for the caps to be circumvented.
"What are the get-out clauses for the operators? Does the user need to be on certain networks for incoming and outgoing calls? Are the new rates automatically available to travellers or do they need to specifically ask for them?" she said.
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