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O2 cuts roaming charges ahead of regulation

But only to Spain...for now

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O2 customers roaming to Spain can receive free calls, and make them for 25 pence a minute, by paying £5 up front for a month's discount.

Next year, O2 will extend the deal to cover the rest of Europe.

O2 says it is initially only covering Spain because more of its customers go there than any other country, but even someone not planning regular jaunts would be well advised to take up the deal for a month even for a single holiday.

Those intending to spend more time in the sun can take out a 12 month commitment and pay only £2.50 a month, with the same advantages.

Movistar customers, who are also ultimately owned by Telefonica, get to roam most of Europe without paying for incoming calls if they sign up for a My Europe - High Roamer tariff. It costs €10 a month, but covers 33 countries, and also reduces the cost of calling while abroad to 25 pence a minute.

O2 reports that many of its customers were switching off their phones when abroad for fear of receiving calls without knowing how much it was going to cost them.

The fact that Europeans only ever pay to make calls, rather than also paying to receive them, has contributed significantly to the popularity of the mobile phone, so it makes sense for that concept to be extended into roaming and it can't be soon enough for the other networks to follow suit. ®

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