MORE than four out of five Irish mobile phone users roaming in the EU use text messaging services — the highest rate of all EU countries.
The Eurobarometer survey found that 81% of Irish users text while roaming in EU countries, 62% use voice services and 10% use internet services.
Across the EU, women and young people are more likely to send text messages while men and older people prefer to make voice calls, the survey found.
It was also found that almost three-quarters of Europeans are worried about the cost of using their mobile phone while travelling in the EU and 72% of travellers limit their roaming calls due to high charges, even though the majority of them are aware that prices have fallen since 2006.
Only 19% of people who use internet-related services on their phones when abroad believe that the charges are fair.
The results of the survey are set to form part of the European Commission’s review of current EU roaming rules, due in June 2011.
The target set by the commission is that the there will be a negligible difference between roaming and national tariffs by 2015. The ultimate aim is to cut out all roaming costs.
The EU’s Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, acting on a proposal from the European Commission, first introduced caps on roaming prices in 2007. In July 2009 revised rules were adopted to cut roaming prices further, so that by July 2011 the maximum charges allowed would be 35 cent per minute for calls made and 11 cent for calls received.
The economic situation was also reflected in the report, with its authors pointing out that Europe has recently gone through possibly the worst economic recession since the 1930s.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved