European cell phone users who travel around the continent are suddenly a lot happier. A ruling from the European Commission has come into effect,putting a limit on the roaming fees networks can charge. The limits actually began in the summer, but users needed to respond to a network offer in order for them top take effect. As ofyesterday, however, the new rates become automatic. Under the new rules, the limit is now 75 cents a minute for outgoing calls made in the EU but outside a caller’s home country, and 38cents a minute for incoming calls. For some users that can be a reduction of 50%. These rates, which only apply to voice calls, will fall again in another year, to 22 cents and 9.5 cents,respectively, and if the networks don’t comply voluntarily, the EU will make them. "We hope we’ve now seen the last of excessive roaming charges,” EU Telecoms CommissionerViviane Reding told the Guardian. "The commission will, however, continue to monitor prices, in particular for SMS and data roaming, to make sureconsumers do not suffer in other ways and to ensure after three years there is no longer a need to regulate." It’s probably not surprise that the networks have opposed the move,feeling that the market should determine prices.
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