EU roaming charge ban draft law leaks

European commission to publish plans to end roaming charges in 28 member state zone.

The European Commission looks set to publish a draft law next week that will see mobile phone roaming charges abolished across all 28 member states of the European Union, according to leaked documents.

Despite reports at the end of August 2013 indicating the legislative arm of the EU had caved to industry protests against dropping the charges, a spokesperson told IT Pro the body was "still planning to end roaming [charges]", adding the plan would be published on 11 September in EU President Jose Manuel Barroso's annual State of the Union speech.

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This seems to be backed up by reports in the Guardian, who claim to have seen copies of the documents.

Allegedly, operators will be left with little choice but to offer a flat rate for customers within the EU, whether they are at home or abroad. This will form part of commission vice president for digital affairs Neelie Kroes' aim to create a single telecoms market across the EU.

However, there will not be a single EU telecoms regulator proposed in the Bill's current form, the Guardian adds.

The move follows the introduction of a data roaming price cap across the EU, which came into force in July 2013.

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While the move has faced fierce opposition from some of the largest operators, including Telefnica which operates O2 Vodafone and Orange, who have claimed the end of roaming charges could cost them 7 billion (5.9 billion), Three has taken the offensive.

Through its Feel At Home scheme, UK customers are already exempt from roaming charges when travelling to Italy, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland, as well as two territories outside the EU Hong Kong and Australia.

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