I warmly welcome the deal reached between MEPs and European Union governments to scrap telephone roaming charges.
In an agreement reached this week between MEPs and representatives of EU member state governments, mobile phone roaming charges will end in July 2017 and will be significantly cut next summer.
This decision is well overdue, having been delayed back in March by EU governments. Nevertheless it is welcome news for consumers across Europe.
Whilst MEPs voted to end roaming charges by the close of 2015, the new end date is a compromise between the European Parliament, the Commission and Council.
From July 2017 making a phone call, sending a text or using data abroad will cost the same as at home.
This will be a great relief for holidaymakers, businesspeople and for anyone with family and friends living elsewhere in Europe.
Furthermore, it will also be of particular benefit to those in Northern Ireland living in border areas who suffer from inadvertent roaming charges when their phones pick up a signal from the Republic of Ireland.
This is a sensible decision by the EU and one which will bring tangible benefits to many people.
Jim Nicholson, MEP, Ulster Unionist Party