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A new European Union (EU) directive will see data roaming charges dropped for mobile broadband users in mainland Europe - welcome news for those travelling to do business on the continent who wish to stay online.

The ruling from European Union commissioner, Viviane Reding, means that mobile phone operators must drop their prices for customers accessing the web while abroad.

Among those who have already acted on the news, T-Mobile has reduced its charges from 7.50 per Mb down to £1.50 per Mb and text messages from 40 p per text down to 25 p per text.

O2 recently announced a price cut that will mean a saving of 80 per cent for customers on prepay - its charge for data usage in European countries is now £3 per Mb.

Commenting on the reductions, Broadband Choices product director, Michael Phillips, commented: "It's great to see that providers are bringing down the cost of data abroad but at £3 per Mb or even £1.50 per Mb it's still costly."

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