EU to Cap Mobile Roaming Charges

Are you one of those people who don’t take their mobile on holiday because of the cost?

Well, we’ve got some good news for you: the government are set to cap data roaming rates before the summer, which means that phone users can now take their handsets abroad and use them without suffering the wrath of the overseas charge God.

Costs will be no more than €0.70 a MB, which is quite a lot lower than what the carriers currently charge for the service. These caps will also apply to voice calls – they are currently capped, but this top limit will decrease from €0.35 to €0.29, with a view to the limit being dropped further to €0.19 by 2014.

Text messages are also going to get cheaper, with the cap dropping from €0.11 to €0.06 – which is actually less than some PAYG customers are paying.

The gap between the cost of mobile roaming charges now and in 2007 is enormous: using your phone abroad is now 75% less than it was then – and as you can probably imagine, the news hasn’t been particularly popular with some mobile networks.

For what it’s worth, Three are delighted. They have supported a cut to roaming charges for some time now, but competitors Orange aren’t so happy. They released a statement saying: “We are disappointed … as we feel competition, not the continued use of price caps, is the most effective way to bring down, and keep down, international roaming pricing. Data roaming prices have dropped by 78% over the last three years, and this was achieved without a regulatory framework in place.”

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