Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-110-500"

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"These days, we are not accustomed to expecting good news from the European Union. In celebration of Europe Day yesterday, however, one piece of good EU news has emerged: it will once again be cheaper to use mobile phones abroad next summer. A sense of proportion is to be brought to the shock that has left some people reeling upon receipt of their bill, when they discover they have faced inordinately high charges of several thousand euro, when roaming settings have been left on and random roaming has got very expensive. I know, because I was responsible for the regulation on roaming within the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The new regulation is to enter into force in July, and will cut prices to at least half their current levels by 2014. It will set price caps for roaming calls, for text messages and, for the first time, for data traffic also. It will also impose an obligation on telephone operators to inform consumers by text message when they are approaching the price ceilings which they themselves have set when they are outside the EU. In this way, we can also prevent shock charges outside the Union, where reasonable price ceilings cannot be regulated by law. In addition, the regulation proposes structural changes to promote much needed competition in the roaming market. The EU’s idea was the principle of the four freedoms: the purpose is to remove barriers to the free movement of workers, goods, services and capital. Now, those barriers have been removed once again. In the age of smartphones, it has been frustrating that their intelligence has had to be shut off just when it was needed most, while on the move under new circumstances in foreign countries. Soon, we will even be consulting maps and timetables and checking the best tips, wherever we happen to be."@en1

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