The European Parliament has voted in policy proposals that will reduce mobile phone voice and data roaming charges across the continent, and are poised to save the average business as much as £850 a year.
The proposals were first put forward by the European Commission in July last year. They have since met fierce opposition from mobile phone operators, such as Vodafone, which argue the regulation will lead to a loss in profit for mobile companies that will in turn lead to less investment in mobile phone networks.
However, European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes welcomed the MEPs' decision that will come into effect on 1 July this year.
"By putting price caps on data we have created a roaming market for the smartphone generation," said Kroes.
"More than that, we have ended the rip-offs familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone while travelling abroad."
The new policy will mean that people travelling outside the EU will get a warning text message, email or pop-up window when they are nearing €50 (£40) of data downloads, or their pre-agreed level. Consumers will then have to confirm they are happy to go over this level in order to continue their data roaming.
In an interview on the BBC Radio Four's You and Yours programme, Kroes likened the opposition to the policy taken by mobile operators such as Vodafone to that of a "spoilt child".
"If you are used to special treatment then you do everything you can to keep the situation for the near future. They were over-billing. This will now be over," she said.
Kroes said the average UK family should save £170 a year as a result of the improved roaming regulation, while the average business will gain £850 a year.
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