Vodafone eyes cut in roaming fees next year

Vodafone Group will slash fees charged to customers for calls made while traveling in Europe by at least 40% next year, according to a Dow Jones report.

The move would come less than two months after the European Commission unveiled proposals to curb the amount that phone companies could charge consumers when they were away from their home countries, the report said.

Under the EC proposals, consumers would no longer be charged for receiving phone calls while abroad, and customers would not pay a higher tariff just because they were traveling, the report said.

The recommendations, which threatened 10 billion euros in annual revenue for companies such as Vodafone and Telefonica, came at a time when wireless operators faced slumping sales and stiffening competition in mature European markets, the report said.

If approved by EU governments and the European Parliament, the new rules could be in force as early as the middle of next year, the report further said.