New European Union rules have just come into effect which will cut the cost of calls abroad. Making a call abroad will fall by at least 17% and downloading data will be 36% cheaper following EU legislation.
This is a significant development for those travelling across Europe. The European Commission has been working relentlessly to achieve this since 2007. Rates were first cut in 2012 and additional cuts will be made in July 2014.
In addition the Commission said mobile phone operators must notify users when they reach 80% of their data roaming limit and cut the mobile internet before they exceed this unless the user opts out of this option.
This is an important breakthrough for consumers. Research by iPass, the Wi-Fi roaming provider, found that 43% of remote workers had experienced an expensive data roaming bill in the last year in excess of £715. This legislation will protect consumers in the future and avoid those who unwittingly create such a high bill and are forced to shell hundreds of pounds in data charges they may never have intended to use.
Commenting on the lower charges, European Commission Vice-President, Neelie Kroes, said: “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.
“This is good for both consumers and companies, because it takes fear out of the market, and it grows the market.”
The new price caps now operational across the European Union, excluding VAT are:
45 cents (38p) a megabyte to download data or browse the internet
24 cents (20p) a minute to make a call
7 cents (6p) a minute to receive a call
8 cents (7p) to send a text message