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EU proposes flat rate for calls as mobile roaming saga rumbles on

EU proposes flat rate for calls as mobile roaming saga rumbles on
Will this new effort finally end the mobile roaming nightmare?

The ongoing struggle to eliminate mobile roaming charges in the EU will see new legislation put forward next week, proposing a flat rate for calls across the region.

The new plans from Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice-president who speaks on digital affairs, aim to end the woes for travellers saddled with huge bills upon their return from travelling in the region.

If the legislation is passed, it would force networks to offer the same rate for calls, texts and internet use as mobile users enjoy on their home turf.

Effectively, it would create a single market for telecoms in the EU with a view to completely phasing out roaming by July 2014.

Stiff opposition

Naturally, the proposals have been met with stiff opposition from Europe's largest networks, including Vodafone, Orange and Telefonica - the owner of O2 - according to a Guardian report.

Eliminating the "cash cow" as Kroes puts it, could cost the networks £5.9 billion in lost revenue, with that cash instead being passed onto the customers.

Back in June, the EU enforced cuts to roaming charges as well as caps on how much users could be charged, but these new initiatives could end the extra charges for good.

Three UK has already by-passed the European red tape by offering its customers the same rates they enjoy in their homeland, in 7 countries around the world.

Pay as you go customers aren't charged extra, while pay monthly customers are able to use their monthly allowance to make calls and texts and use the internet.