The European Union has agreed to new roaming rules for mobile phone users, which should see bills slashed by around 60 per cent.

Customers making phone calls abroad is big business for the telcos, but Vodafone's recent announcement that it is to drop roaming charges for the summer and now the EU's decision to cap charges means that customers phoning home from abroad should get a better deal.

Data roaming cap

The new rules will mean that consumers will pay just €0.11 (before VAT) for sending a text message, with the current price at €0.28. Data roaming charges have also been dropped, but don't expect those massive bills to disappear just yet.

It will now be €1 per megabyte downloaded, compared to an average price of €1.68 per megabyte. This does mean that the average album will still cost you around €40 to download.

Good news is that an automatic cap will be put in place of around €50 although you can opt out of if you wish.

On 1 July, the charge of a mobile phone call will be capped to €0.46 for calls made and €0.22 for calls received. This will go down to €0.39 and €0.15 on in 2010, dropping further to €0.35 and €0.11 by 2011.

We've decided to leave all the prices in euros, as the exchange rate is just €1 to £0.9 at the moment.

No more bill shocks

Speaking about the new call costs, EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding, explained: "The new roaming rules have passed the very last procedural hurdle and will now bring instant benefits to consumers as of July 1.

"This is great news for European citizens who will be able to go on holiday this summer and roam with peace of mind and without the fear of 'bill shocks'."