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3 culls roaming charges

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3 customers will no longer pay to receive calls, and will be able to use their bundled minutes, text, and data, when roaming onto a 3 network abroad.

The new deal applies to both pay as you go and contract customers, and means customers travelling to Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, and the UK can make make use of their bundled minutes and services, including free Skype calls and internet access for X-Series customers.

Once the bundled minutes have been used up, messaging services (SMS and MMS) are charged the same rate as in the UK, while voice calls will be 20 pence a minute. International calls are charged as though the customer is in the UK.

Roaming charges have long been an important revenue source for mobile networks on the understanding that most people who were roaming had companies to pay their bills anyway. But these days everyone expects to be able to use their phone on holiday, and the rise in customer complaints has led to the announcement of an investigation into roaming charges by the European Commission.

But coupled with reducing the cost of roaming is a demand to replicate the home experience when travelling - customers expect access to all the services they have at home at similar cost. This announcement supplies much of that, albeit limited to one company's network. ®

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