EU votes to slash roaming costs

If you've ever been abroad and got stung by ridiculous call charges, this will no doubt cheer up your summer jolly this year.The European Parliament h

The European Parliament has voted in favour of EU proposals to cap roaming charges from 1 July this year, with further drops expected in 2010 and 2011 as well.

It will mean that operators will be able to charge no more than 11 cents (around 10p) per text message sent, 1 Euro (92p) per megabyte downloaded and 43 cents (40p) per minute for calls made across Europe.

Even better, it is thought data charges will drop to 50 cents (46p) by July 2011, and calls to 35 cents (31p) per minute as well.

EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding has called the vote the "end of the roaming rip off in Europe", with serial holidaymakers expected to save up to 60% on their bill when they use their phone abroad. That's certainly not something to sniff at.

To top it all off, there'll be no more of that rounding calls up to the nearest minute to run up your bill. Operators will be able to charge their customers a minimum call time of 30 seconds, but after that they'll have to charge by the second so you'll only get charged for the time you use.

All coming in time for the summer holidays, it's something that we here at Stuff Towers are looking forward of taking advantage of come July. Let us know what you think to the decision below.