EU lawmakers agree to cap price of phone calls between member states

Text message prices will also be limited.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture | Video Games | Breaking News
Sean Keane

The prices of calls and texts between EU member states may soon be capped.

Francis Dean/Corbis/Getty Images

The prices of calls and text messages from one European Union country to another will be capped, after governments and lawmakers reportedly reached a deal on Wednesday.

The European Parliament pushed for the cap during a 12-hour negotiation session on changes to its 15-year-old telecoms laws, designed to encourage operators to move towards next-generation 5G services, Reuters reports.

The provision deal, which comes a year after mobile roaming surcharges were eliminated within the EU, would see calls between EU states capped at 19 euro cents ($0.22, £0.17) per minute and text messages limited to 6 euro cents ($0.07, £0.05) each.

The cost of intra-EU country calls currently varies from 5 cents ($0.06, £0.04) to 80 cents ($0.93, £0.70) a minute, according to The European Consumer Organisation.

Of course, the elimination of mobile roaming surcharges meant that EU travellers have been able to make calls using services like WhatsApp, Viber, FaceTime and Facebook video calls cheaply or free since 2017.

The deal must be endorsed by both EU member states and its parliament before it becomes law.