The European Union’s new charges for mobile ‘roaming’ when abroad have been agreed by the European parliament and will become law from 1st July 2012. Overall, consumers are expected to save 75% across roaming calls, text messages and data compared with 2007 prices.
As well as reduced costs for voice calls and SMS messages, new price caps for mobile data will be introduced.
Customers who aren’t on any special roaming tariff offered by their network will pay a maximum of 29 Euro cents per minute to make a call (28p incl. VAT), 8 cents per minute to receive a call, 9 cents to send a text message and 70 cents per Megabyte. The price caps will fall in 2013 and again in 2014.
From July 2014, customers will have the option to choose a separate mobile roaming provider as an alternative to their regular ‘home’ network operator.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President, said “By putting price caps on data we have created a roaming market for the smart phone generation. More than that, we have ended the rip-offs familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone while travelling abroad. I am pleased that year after year the European Union is putting money back in the pockets of citizens. From 2014 we are also delivering a permanent solution to the roaming issue, something better than any price cap. We are bringing full competition to this market by making it easy to choose a separate roaming provider. If you can find a better offer compared to your standard contract you’ll be able to do it in a few simple swipes, just like when you choose a wifi network.”