EU caps roaming tariffs to prevent 'bill shock'
It's been a busy week in Brussels. Following the unbelievably sensible move to standardize mobile phone chargers, the European Union has now made calls, texts and receiving emails on your mobile phone 60% cheaper. Sending sending a text message from abroad in the EU now costs a maximum €0.11 (down from an average of €0.28), roaming calls are capped at €0.43 per minute and receiving a call costs no more than €0.19. There's also a wholesale cap of €1 per megabyte for downloads.
The changes are the result of tariff cuts that were approved at the end of last year and came into effect on July 1.
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"From today, all Europeans making calls or sending texts with their mobiles can experience the EU's single market without borders. The roaming-rip off is now coming to an end thanks to the determined action of the European Commission, the European Parliament and all 27 EU Member States,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. “I expect the new EU roaming rules to make it much cheaper to surf the web on your mobile while abroad in the EU. For now, EU rules are limited to reducing inter-operator charges. I call on the mobile industry to pass these savings on to data roaming customers swiftly. The Commission and national regulators will monitor data roaming charges very carefully and assess next year whether the roaming market is finally becoming competitive."
A full run-down on the pricing changes is available here.