22 April 2009

EU - Cost of roaming texts, calls and data services to plummet from 1 July

A text message sent from abroad in the EU will cost no more than €0.11 as of 1 July, instead of €0.28 today. The times where consumers had to expect "bill shocks" for downloading a picture or a movie with a mobile phone while roaming in the EU are over. The European Parliament, in its plenary session in Strasbourg, today voted by a large majority in favour of new EU rules on SMS and data roaming. The Parliament also voted for further cuts in the price of mobile phone calls while roaming in another EU country. The present cap for a mobile phone call made abroad will progressively drop from €0.46 to €0.35 per minute by July 2011, and from €0.22 today to €0.11 for mobile calls received while roaming abroad. Mobile operators will also be required to bill roaming calls by the second from the 31st second at the latest, which will end the current practice under which consumers are overcharged by up to 24%. As the Council of EU Telecoms Ministers has already signalled its agreement with the new roaming rules, the vote paves the way for an entry into force of the new rules just in time for the summer holidays. European consumers are expected to save up to 60% on their bill for using a mobile phone abroad in the EU.