EU says deal on roaming fees

European Union governments are 'within reach' of a deal to cut charges for mobile phones calls for cross-border travelers that could be in place before this year's summer vacation, the EU's telecoms chief, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report said the EU's 27 telecoms ministers meet Thursday at the yearly CeBIT technology show in Hanover , Germany, to thrash out an informal agreement that could set an upper limit for how much mobile phone companies can charge customers who use their phone in another EU country, known as roaming fees.

This could pave the way for the law to be approved in early June, coming into force later that month or in early July, the report said.

EU telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding called on the ministers and members of the European Parliament, which must also approve the deal in May, 'to listen more to customers and less to the industry lobbyists,' the report said.

The EU executive wants to set price ceilings for both wholesale and retail roaming charges to ensure that these are not 'unjustifiably higher' than fees charged within a user's home country, the report further said.