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European Union flagIf you’ve ever returned from a holiday on the continent only to find your letterbox jammed with gigantic mobile bills, fret no more. European MPs have voted to slash the price of using your phone abroad.

The move doesn’t set an EU-wide price, but instead puts a cap on phone use below which companies can compete to offer the best value while still getting a decent return. Note that these prices don’t include VAT:

* A text message will now be capped at 11 euro cents (10p)
* Data downloads will be capped at €1 per megabyte
* Voice calls will be capped at 43 cents per minute for an outgoing call or 19 cents for a receiving one.

The move was passed by 646 votes in favour and 22 against, and it’s already been approved by EU telecoms ministers. 

The price falls will come in on July 1, and more cuts are planned – a received voice call, for instance, should be capped at 11 cents by July 2011. 

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