EU to end excessive roaming charges to avoid bill shock

EU to end excessive roaming charges to avoid bill shock

New rules have been set out by the European Parliament in a bid to reduce data charges when abroad and end bill shock.

Under new rules agreed by the European Parliament, those who use smartphones while abroad will pay no more than €0.29 cents (24p) per minute to make a call and €0.70 cents per megabyte for data downloads across Europe.

The new rules come after a number of individuals and businesses were hit with bills reaching into the thousands of pounds after falling foul of high roaming charges.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president for the Digital Agenda added: "The new roaming deal gives us a long-term structural solution with lower prices, more choice and a new smart approach for data and internet browsing."

Plans have also been outlined that would see roaming charges progressively decrease, with the aim that by 2014 users will pay no more than €0.19 cents to make a call and $0.20 cents (16p) per megabyte of data.

From July this year, smartphone users will get a warning text message, email or pop-up window when they are nearing €50 worth of data downloads.