A key committee of the European Parliament has backed plans to cut the cost of mobile phone roaming charges.

Roaming charges are the prices consumers pay to make and receive mobile calls while abroad.

Under the new proposal charges for making mobile phone calls in other EU states would be capped at 40c a minute, excluding VAT.

The cost of receiving calls would be capped at a maximum of 15c a minute, excluding VAT.

Currently roaming charges vary between 40c and €4 a minute.

As a result of today's vote all consumers will automatically be switched to the so called Euro rate.

The measure is expected to become law by the summer.