A key committee of the European Parliament backed a proposal to cap roaming charges for mobile phone calls made abroad, voting in favor of a ceiling at 40 euro cents ($0.54) per minute of an outgoing call and 15 euro cents ($0.20) per minute for an incoming call, an Associated Press report said.
The Associated Press report said the EU assembly's industry committee went further than the European Commission and the EU member states, which proposed a cap of 50 euro cents ($0.67) and 25 euro cents ($0.34), respectively.
The EU's executive arm claims network providers are reaping massive profits from unjustifiably high roaming charges that can increase call costs fourfold, the report said.
A four-minute call home for a Cypriot in Belgium, for instance, can cost 12 euros ($15.95), and for an Irish visitor in Malta as much as 13.16 euros ($17.49), the report added.The full 785-seat EU assembly will vote on the proposal in May, the report said.
By then, lawmakers need to decide whether an EU-wide cap on roaming charges should be automatic or whether customers would only get it from their operator on request, the report further said.