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Mobile users heading to the continent this summer will be pleased to hear that the UK's major networks have failed in their attempts to reverse the cap on roaming charges.

O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone all worked together to try and circumvent the three year old legislation which placed a limit as to what can be reasonably charged for calls when users are in a foreign country using another carrier's network.

The laws were implemented to "protect consumers against excessive prices," according to the European Court judges, who decided that authorities in Brussels had been correct when they decided to impose the limit in 2007.

On top of this decision, it has also been made clear that additional reductions in roaming costs will be forced into effect from July.

If you make a call from a European country this summer you will no longer pay a maximum of 38 pence per minute, as this has been dropped to 32p. The price of answering calls is also being lowered, from 18p down to 12.5p every minute.

"It is now time for the operators to show they have learned their lesson and will charge fair, competitive prices. They should give consumers a fair deal, not try to wreck laws we had to introduce to protect our constituents," said MEP Arlene McCarthy.

Apparently unreasonable profits were being made by networks as the result of high roaming charges before new rules were imposed, with alleged margins of some 200 per cent for outgoing and 400 per cent for inbound calls respectively.

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