Brits abroad should get cheaper roaming rates for the next eight years at least, thanks to EU caps
EU mobile roaming caps came into force yesterday, meaning those travelling across the continent will be able to enjoy significantly cheaper calls, texts and internet use.
Making a call will now cost no more than €0.29 (24p) per minute while users cannot be charged more than €0.08 (6p) for receiving a call. Rates will be further reduced in July 2013 and in 2014 the maximum cost of a call will fall to €0.19 (16p) and €0.05 (4p) to receive.
SMS texts will cost €0.09 (7p), falling to €0.06c (5p) in 2014, while 1MB of data has been capped at €0.70 (59p) from July and just €0.20 (17p) in two years’ time.
From July 2014, customers will also be allowed to sign up for an alternative mobile roaming offer separate from their contract for national mobile services, while margins between wholesale and retail prices have been maintained in order to let new competitors enter the market.
The new rules will last until June 22, when fresh legislation will have to be made. They came into force after considerable pressure from those within EU regulatory bodies and campaign groups like Europeans for Fair Roaming. That organisation told TechWeekEurope recently that it may continue fighting for the roaming rules to be extended to other countries outside of EU.
UK operators have accepted the EU roaming caps, even though it will disrupt their revenue streams. They have launched a host of packages designed to help customers enjoy better rates across Europe.
T-Mobile launched its Internet and Broadband Travel Boosters, designed to ease the cost of data. The cheapest deal costs £1 for 3MB of data in Europe, which lasts for 30 days or until the data has been used up.
Vodafone is offering calls, texts and data use on a UK price plan when on the continent for an additional £3 a day, whilst Three’s Euro Internet Pass allows customers to use as much mobile data as they like while abroad for £5 a day.
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