EU proposes cutting wholesale mobile roaming rates

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union proposed on Wednesday cutting the wholesale roaming rates that telecoms operators pay each other when customers use their mobile phones abroad to pave the way for the abolition of retail roaming charges by summer next year. The EU struck a deal a year ago to abolish mobile roaming charges across the 28-country bloc by June 2017 but that hinges on wholesale prices being competitive enough to allow firms to offer customers free roaming without operating at a loss. The European Commission, the EU's executive, proposed cutting the maximum amount operators can charge each other to 4 euro cents a minute for calls, 1 euro cent per text message and 0.85 euro cent per megabyte of data to ensure that retail roaming charges can be abolished in a year without distorting the market.

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