Cheaper roaming in Europe

TEXT OF INTERVIEWLISA NAPOLI: The price of making a mobile phone call from one European nation to another is about to get a lot cheaper. Today, E.U. lawmakers backed a plan that will slash cross-border cell phone calling. The price caps huge roaming charges paid by the E.U.'s 480 million citizens when they travel outside their own countries. Here's Stephen Beard in London on what it means:

STEPHEN BEARD: There's two elements to this. First of all, it's gonna be a lot lower, and then they're going to be level, so it'll cost you the same to call wherever you are within the 27 member states. As a result of these changes, these roaming charges could fall by up to 75 percent.

NAPOLI: That's a lot of money Stephen and ostensibly that makes those E.U. states, so to speak, closer together which is I guess part of the point?

BEARD: Yeah, that is the point actually. Absolutely. It is part of this trend toward the single market, you know commonizing everything, putting everyone on a level playing field so that we all get the idea that we're living in one big, large, happy country.

NAPOLI: The new calling prices could go into effect as early as August.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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