EU telecommunications ministers have reached broad agreement on lowering the cost of using mobile phones abroad.

The development, during an informal meeting in Hanover, Germany, has raised hopes that a deal capping roaming charges within Europe can be struck by the end of June.

After the talks the European Information and Media Commissioner, Viviane Reding, said the EU would likely sign off on regulations in the first half of the year capping roaming charges at 50c per minute.

But she said it would take very intense work to reach a formal agreement on the issue.