European roaming charges reduced from today

Written by Edward Chester

July 1, 2013 // 2:55 p.m.

Tags: #calls #charges #data #eu #europe #european #roaming #roaming-charges

New rules on maximum roaming charges for mobile users in the EU come into effect from today, further reducing the chance of being hit with a hefty phone bill when returning from abroad.

The new rules will affect all EU countries and will ensure that EU users won't pay more than €0.24 (£0.20p) per minute for making a phone call, €0.05 (£0.04p) for receiving calls, €0.08 (£0.7p) for sending texts and €0.45 (£0.37.5p) per MB for data while travelling abroad.

The EU has slowly been introducing caps over the last few years, with it last summer introducing a data cap for the first time, putting the price per MB at €0.70 (£0.58p).

Next year prices will drop even further to just €0.19 (£0.16p) per minute for phone calls and to €0.20 (£0.17p) for data, as roaming charges are scrapped altogether to be replaced by a European telecoms market.

Most providers also now automatically stop providing data roaming - until explicitly extended - when the users bill reaches a certain point, which is generally around £50.

This follows many years of it being largely a free for all, with phone companies charging extortionate amounts, particularly for data usage, resulting in many people returning from abroad with phone bills in the thousands of pounds.

"The EU has to be relevant to people's lives. The latest price cuts put more money in your pocket for summer, and are a critical step towards getting rid of these premiums once and for all," said European Commission VP Neelie Kroes.

"This is good for both consumers and companies, because it takes fear out of the market, and it grows the market."

Kroes took to Facebook this weekend with an image that shows the new costs and when they apply. "EU rules will cut the cost of roaming with your mobile in Europe - as of this Monday," she said. "Check out the new lower rates here!"
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