MEPs have voted unanimously to abolish mobile roaming charges within the EU by 2015. The charges, which have been repeatedly slashed by EU legislation in recent months, apply to text messages, receiving or making phone calls and downloading data.
The vote was taken by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, in the latest stage in the process of moving the motion through the various stages of the European legal processes.
Danish politician Jens Rohde, who penned the draft resolution that was accepted by MEPs said the measure had the committee's full support as it should help the EU catch up with other markets that have abolished roaming charges.
"This unanimous vote for a roaming-free Europe by 2015 is a strong signal that we fully support commissioner Kroes' [vice president of the European Commission] drive to get rid of roaming charges," he said.
"We must ensure that the telecoms market works and that people are no longer afraid to use their mobile phones to make calls or download data when abroad. India and the US have already abolished roaming fees, and it is high time for the EU to do likewise."
Last week, roaming charges were cut by 36 percent in EU countries, with a view for the EU to eventually adopt an open market for roaming packages in the coming years.
Neelie Kroes' spokesperson Ryan Heath told V3 last week that, despite the objections of mobile operators, abolishing of roaming charges would be a crucial step in avoiding a consumer disaster as the costs of using phone overseas is prohibitively expensive.
The EU will now hold a plenary vote in mid-September, and will also put forward alternative revenue stream ideas for Europe mobile carriers.
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