British travellers heading to European Union member states can now pay less to use their mobile phone.
Roaming charges have been significantly reduced ahead of their full abolition next year, which means calls could be up to 65 per cent cheaper.
Under the new system, a maximum surcharge for roaming services, which may be charged on top of domestic charges, will replace the current price capping for roaming within the EU.
Anyone making an outgoing call will not have to pay a maximum surcharge of more than €0.05 (about 4p) per minute.
Meanwhile, incoming calls will be priced at a maximum of €0.014 (less than a penny) per minute.
Anyone sending a text message can expect to pay about €0.02 (approximately 1p) per message, while using data will cost approximately €0.05 per megabyte (about 4p).
The surcharge will be removed completely from June 2017, so people from the UK can expect to pay exactly what it would cost them at home to use their phone in another EU country.
Official estimates suggest this could save customers from the UK up to £1.4 billion a year in roaming charges.
Ed Vaizey, the digital economy minister, commented: “If you are making a phone call in Paris or Barcelona, from today you are quite literally better off inside the European Union – because strong UK leadership secured a better deal for consumers.”
The move has been hailed by consumer group Which? as “good news” for people from the UK who are heading overseas.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of the body, said: “Millions of travellers will now be able to enjoy using their mobile abroad, without the shock of a sky-high bill when they get home.'