Lawmakers fail to agree on mobile roaming rules

EU politicians and officials failed to resolve important details of a plan to cut the cost of making and receiving mobile phone calls abroad, a lawmaker, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report said representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission and European Union countries tried to agree the levels of price caps and whether consumers should be automatically switched to the regulated rates.

'I think the two main problems are the limits of the caps and the 'opt in, opt out' question,' Paul Ruebig, one of two lawmakers steering the regulation through the assembly, was quoted by the Reuters report as saying.

'Both sides definitely say they want to have a compromise. Everybody now is working hard to reach an agreement,' Ruebig told Reuters.

An EU diplomat said there would be a second round of meetings on May 2.

The report further said the executive European Commission has promised Europeans the new rates by this summer, but the three EU bodies, heavily lobbied by industry and consumer groups, are split over the details and time is running short.

The European Parliament wants what it calls a more consumer-friendly version of the rules, with caps that would automatically apply to all at 40 euro cents ($0.54) a minute for making phone calls abroad and 15 euro cents for receiving them, the report said.

The European Commission supports this approach, while other member states have taken a softer approach, the report further said.