Phone roaming charges to fallfollowing EU vote

Mobile phone roaming charges will fall again from July following a European Parliament vote.

The round of cuts are the latest step toward reducing the gap between domestic and “foreign” call rates to virtually nothing by 2015. As well as cutting the cost of making calls abroad and receiving calls from home, the decision cuts the cost of “data roaming” when holidaymakers want to download information.

The cuts involve reducing the cost of making a mobile call from another EU country from about 35c a minute to 29c. This will fall to 19c in 2014.

The cost of sending a text will fall from 11c to 9c in July, and to 6c in 2014.

Overall, roaming costs have fallen by up to 75% since the campaign began in 2007, said the commission.

Europe’s “Digital Agenda” Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “By putting price caps on data we have created a roaming market for the smart phone generation. More than that, we have ended the rip-offs familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone while travelling abroad.”

Compulsory maximum roaming rates were imposed on mobile network operators five years ago to tackle what the commission called the “roaming rip-off”. Operators were said to be making profits of over 200% for mobile calls made in another EU country, and 300% or 400% for calls received.

New rates

* From July, consumers travelling in another EU country will pay no more than:

* 29c per minute to make a call.

* 8c to receive a call.

* 9c to send a text message.

* 70c per megabyte to download data or browse the internet.


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