EU proposes end to roaming charges in radical mobile shake-up

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Europe's Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes on Thursday proposed a radical shake-up of the mobile phone services market, including an end to roaming charges long denounced by consumer groups.

Ms Kroes said the European Union should show the way forward, creating a real single market for telecoms to deliver benefits which will boost economic growth and jobs.

Looking ahead to the 2014 EU elections, she called on European Parliament lawmakers to show "citizens that the EU is relevant to their lives.

"I want you to be able to go back to your constituents and say that you were able to end mobile roaming costs," she said, referring to the surcharges levied by telecoms operators when a customer uses a mobile phone or tablet outside their home country.

Ms Kroes said she would also be pressing for "real action on cybercrime" and guaranteeing Internet neutrality.

The measures, if agreed, would be implemented by 2015 or 2016.

"Markets must function, devices must function, networks must function and investment needs to happen ... we can't afford today's countless, needless, artificial obstacles placed in the way," Ms Kroes said.

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