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For cell phone users in in the European Union, roaming charges while traveling across the region will soon be a thing of the past. The group of European Commissioners representing each of the 27 member nations voted in Brussels to make voice calls, texts and internet access cost the same as it would in a users' home country, according to a report from The Telegraph. Currently, the plan is to make this happen by July 2014.
This move goes a long way towards building a single European telecoms market, which is certainly a good thing for people living in any of these countries. After all, roaming charges can be extremely expensive, and this move will help eliminate them, and make traveling with a cell phone an easier proposition for anyone in the EU.
Officials plan to draw up and publish detailed proposals over the course of the next six weeks, which will provide us with more information on exactly how this will shake out.
Of course, travelers from the United States and other countries who visit the European Union will still be forced to pay roaming charges. Also, residents of the EU will still pay if they should visit a country outside of the Union.
Early estimates say wireless carriers will see an initial drop of two percent in revenue, but they should make up for it in the long run from increased mobile device usage while traveling, and the ability to attract a wider range of customers. There is also something be said for customers being happy with their carrier, which helps keep them loyal.
SIM cards image via Shutterstock