The proposal, already agreed by 27 European Commissioners, is an attempt to unite the European telecoms market which currently has 100 operators, compared with four in the US.
If it is given the green light it could knock hundreds of pounds off the bills of Britons travelling abroad, who on average spend an extra £120 on their mobile phone on each trip, according to price comparison website uSwitch.
Officials expect the end of roaming charges will take 2% of operator revenues, but argue that operators will gain long term as more customers will use their mobiles abroad, rather than boycotting their service altogether to avoid high bills.
If the ban on the charges goes ahead, it could mean travellers are just charged the standard rate in their contract and would be able to use any inclusive call and text minutes they have.
However, those who travel abroad for 15 days a year, check a few emails every day, and use the Internet for half an hour would still pay around £75.
“Scrapping all roaming charges in EU countries is a real win for consumers. Not only will we be better protected from bill shock, but the doors will be open to foreign networks looking for a piece of the market in Britain, which could mean cheaper mobile deals too,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com.
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