EU Cuts Mobile Roaming Charges

The cost of using data services on mobile phones will be lowered this summer after the European Union yesterday announced it would cap roaming charges.
From July 1, downloading one megabyte of data via a smartphone will cost a maximum of 58p, and this will fall by a further 40p in 2014.
The price caps on voice calls and text messages will also be cut in July. Mobile users making a one-minute call abroad will be charged no more than 24p, falling to 16p in 2014, while sending an SMS will cost a maximum of 7.5p from this summer and 5p in two years.
Neelie Kroes, the EU commissioner for the Digital Agenda, said: “Consumers are fed up with being ripped off by high roaming charges.
“The new roaming deal gives us a long-term structural solution, with lower prices, more choice and a new smart approach for data and internet browsing. The benefits will be felt in time for the summer break, and by summer 2014, people can shop around for the best deal.”
Mobile operator Three welcomed the move, saying the cheaper costs will encourage more consumers to use their phones abroad and could generate higher income for network operators.
However Orange and T-Mobile owner Everything Everywhere said it was “disappointed” with the EU’s decision, as it feels competition, not the continued use of price caps, is the most effective way to drive down international roaming pricing.
“Data roaming prices have dropped by 78 per cent over the last three years, and this was achieved without a regulatory framework in place,” it added.