eir has become the first telecom operator here to abolish charges for roaming in the EU.

However, the service will only be available free of charge to 40,000 existing customers who have signed up to eir Mobile since last September.

Before the end of April, they will be able to use their call and text allowances while roaming in the EU at no extra cost, and also receive 1GB of data to use while roaming in the EU as a standard part of their existing plan.

New customers will have to sign up to one of a range of new plans beginning at €20 per month.

The service will also be available as part of a new mobile, broadband, landline and TV or quadplay bundle and will be open to Meteor customers through a range of new plans.

The announcement comes ahead of the abolition of roaming charges in the EU by June 2017.

The move is likely to put pressure on other operators here to follow suit.