Mobile roaming charges are cut down with even tighter price caps effective July 1, in the 28-country European Union, in time for the summer holiday season.
The new cap has more than halved the data costs on roaming by 55 percent at €0.20 (16p) per megabyte, from €0.45 (36p), while costs of outgoing calls are slashed to €0.19 (15p) per minute from €0.24 (19p).
Roaming charges on incoming calls will also drop to €0.05 (4p) per minute from €0.07 (6p), and texts will cost a 5p at the maximum, instead of 6p. However, the new cap applies to only the EU countries, while the rest of Europe is exempt, which nearly half of the British holidaymakers are not aware of, according to a new research report by Which?.
European Union has been chipping away mobile roaming charges with caps on the prices since 2007. Neelie Kroes, the EU telecoms commissioner, said that since 2010, data roaming charges have dropped by around 95 percent, while prices on calls and text messages are at least 20 percent cheaper.
Kroes said that the roaming fees are due to be scrapped “100 percent” by Christmas 2015, however it’s up to “all EU state governments” to approve the proposal. She called for European mobile operators to follow the US carriers and offer free international roaming.
Kroes noted that operators as well as consumers will not be at loss with the reduction of roaming charges as travellers will tend to use mobile phones more while abroad, resulting in more revenue for operators.
Dismissing the fears that cut down on roaming charges will limit providers’ investment in new services, Kroes said that roaming has till date been a small part of the income generated and has not been used for investments by operators.