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Europe Implements Limit For Cellular Voice and Data Roaming

According to a preliminary deal reached on EU roaming fees, the maximum roaming rate for voice calls will be 0.29 Euros ($0.38) per minute for placed calls (0.08 Euros per minute for receiving a call) beginning on July 1. Carriers cannot charge more than 0.70 Euros ($0.93) for every MB of data and not more than 0.09 Euros ($0.12) for every SMS that is transferred within the EU. The rates are slightly higher than previously published in an initial proposal.

However, compared those rates to the U.S., where, for example, AT&T charges $19.99 per MB of data, and $0.50 for text messages outside the U.S. and Canada.

“Consumers are fed up with being ripped off by high roaming charges," said Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda, in a prepared statement. "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. The benefits will be felt in time for the summer break - and by summer 2014, people can shop around for the best deal."

The deal also states that EU roaming rates will drop on July 1, 2014, again. Voice calls will be limited to a maximum of 0.19 Euros per minute (0.05 Euros per minute when receiving a call), text messages will be limited to 0.06 Euros and data traffic to 0.20 Euros for every MB.