Mobile roaming charges drop across Europe

Mobile phone charges will fall for millions of holidaymakers across Europe from today, after new regulations come into force to drive down the cost of roaming.A mandatory single tariff, which covers all European Union countries, will make it significantly cheaper for those who use their phones while outside of their home territory. The changes – which were originally approved in 2007 – are an attempt by officials to end what they have called excessive charges.To read this report in The Guardian in full, see: see:End of ‘roaming rip-off’: cost of texting, calling, surfing the web abroad to plummet from today thanks to EU action [news release]
As of today, sending a text message from abroad in the EU costs a maximum €0.11, almost three times cheaper than the previous EU average of €0.28 (excl. VAT). To make a roamed call in another EU country must not cost more than €0.43 per minute, and no more than €0.19 to receive a call. From today, outgoing roaming calls will be charged by the second, after the first 30 seconds, rather than by the minute, and incoming calls will be charged by the second from the first second. Holidaymakers and business travellers can also surf the web, download movies or send photos with their mobile without fear of ‘bill shocks’ while roaming thanks to a wholesale cap of € 1 per megabyte (MB) downloaded. All these measures are expected to cut roaming charges for EU consumers by a further 60% and increase mobile phone use. The EU first acted on roaming in 2007 reducing the cost of voice roaming calls by 70%.”From today, all Europeans making calls or sending texts with their mobiles can experience the EU’s single market without borders. The roaming-rip off is now coming to an end thanks to the determined action of the European Commission, the European Parliament and all 27 EU Member States,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. “I expect the new EU roaming rules to make it much cheaper to surf the web on your mobile while abroad in the EU. For now, EU rules are limited to reducing inter-operator charges. I call on the mobile industry to pass these savings on to data roaming customers swiftly. The Commission and national regulators will monitor data roaming charges very carefully and assess next year whether the roaming market is finally becoming competitive.”

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