A top European Union official says mobile phone network operators should be forced to end charging customers for data roaming when traveling across the 27-nation bloc.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes told the European Parliament on Thursday the roaming fees should cease to exist by next year.

The Commission, the bloc's executive arm, has already cracked down on roaming charges for international cellphone calls. It has also mandated lower maximum ceilings for data roaming costs, but bills for using the Internet on smartphones or tablets when traveling in Europe still rise quickly.

Kroes said abolishing data roaming fees will be another step to accomplishing the bloc's single market, saving citizens and companies money.