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FACTBOX-EU to adopt new caps on roaming mobile phone calls

April 21 (Reuters) - The European Parliament is set to adopt new price caps on roaming mobile phone calls in the 27-country European Union on Wednesday.

The measure prolongs existing price curbs until summer 2012. It also includes price caps for the first time on roaming data downloading, such as checking emails, and sending text (SMS) messages.

EU states, which have joint say on the reform with the parliament, have reached a draft deal with the assembly. The measure comes into force on July 1.

The main elements of the draft deal are:

TEXT MESSAGES

From July 1 a text message sent from outside a home state will cost no more than 11 euro cents (14 U.S. cents) for the consumer instead of around 28 cents today (excluding value-added tax).

DATA

A wholesale price cap of 1 euro per megabyte downloaded outside a home state compared to an average wholesale price of 1.68 euros per megabyte today. The cap will fall to 80 euro cents in 2010 and 50 euro cents in 2011.

PHONE CALLS

The present retail price cap of 46 euro cents per minute for a roamed call will drop to 35 cents by July 2011. The price cap on calls received while abroad will fall from 22 cents today to 11 cents per minute by July 2011.

BILLING

Mobile phone operators will have to bill by the second from the 31st second of a call, a move aimed at stamping out overcharging. ($1=.7748 euro) (Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Simon Jessop)

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