Mobile carriers to cut roaming fees by half

European mobile operators have agreed to halve the price of making and receiving calls from abroad, an Associated Press report said.

According to the report, the group of companies, which includes Germany's T-Mobile, Britain's Orange, Italy's Wind SpA and Telecom Italia SpA, Norway's Telenor SA and Sweden's TeliaSonera, will cap the average wholesale rates they offer each other for providing roaming services at 45 euro cents ($0.57) a minute starting October.

The charges would drop further to 36 euro cents ($0.46) a minute from October 2007, around half the current levels, the report said.

The report said the European Commission had long been pressing mobile phone companies to scrap the "unjustified" high cost of using a phone abroad, warning earlier this year that it would draft a law that could by next summer eliminate charges entirely for receiving a call in another EU country.

The proposed law would also have travelers charged the same amount for calls made at home and abroad, the report said.

That could mean savings of 40% to 60%, the report further said.