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EU announces new roaming charge caps
Wednesday 28 March 2012 16:00:06 by Andrew Ferguson

While there has been a €50 bill shock protection mechanism where people using their mobile phone or dongle when roaming around Europe capping the size of their bill in a single month without authorising further spending. The speed with reach this can be reached has not changed much, now the EU has introduced a new retail price cap for the per MB (MegaByte) data charges.

Current and proposed retail price caps (excluding VAT)
  Current 1st July 2012 1st July 2013 1st July 2014
Data (per MB) None 70 cents 45 cents 20 cents
Voice calls made (per minute) 35 cents 29 cents 24 cents 19 cents
Voice calls received (per minute) 11 cents 8 cents 7 cents 5 cents
SMS (per SMS) 11 cents 9 cents 8 cents 6 cents

While the price cap is welcome, it still means a 20MB application update on a smartphone, will cost €14 in 2012, dropping to €4 in 2014. Put another way, it is still a whopping €700+VAT for 1GB of data, though the €50 cap should avoid this, unless you agreed to going over that figure. So the standing advice to ensure data is turned off on your phone when roaming abroad will still stand, or alternatively check with your mobile provider what options they have for pre-paying for an EU roaming package. The sign of a true international traveller though, is a pocket with multiple sim cards so you can get the best possible deals in countries you regularly visit.


Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
....and those of us who travel outside the EU will get even more screwed than we are now paying £6-£7 per MB. They give with one hand and take anyway with the other!!
Posted by awoodland over 5 years ago
Unless it reaches a point where it counts out of bundled allowances, or is genuinely competitive with WiFi (which is usually free at the hotels and places I visit within the EU) then I'm never going to turn data on whilst I'm abroad.
Posted by awoodland over 5 years ago
I'd bet that with realistic pricing there would be a comparable increase in people turning roaming data back on. As it stands it seems the only way this makes money is accidental usage and business users "I'll just expense it when I get back".
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Is it really that much of a big deal to buy a local SIM abroad?

Went to Netherlands, next to hotel was an independent phone shop, £10 for SIM and £20 credit (4x1GB) on Vodafone NL.
Posted by leexgx over 5 years ago
problem is some are just not aware if data charges they just do not check

very good example is when they gone from an Brick phone (old Nokia for example) to an smart phone and they have roaming Still enabled so when they go abroad like they have in the past the phone does its normal data stuff and come back and have an stupid bill (i agree you have to tick the enable data Ignore the warning about charges for that to happen but i have seen some phones with data roaming enabled)

with the new system in place you not be able to go over approx £50 an month
Posted by leexgx over 5 years ago
(as some users do not understand what roaming is so they enable it, i have asked some users who had told me they had done it, they thought it would give access to other networks in the uk for better signal)
Posted by musical_uk over 5 years ago
If you regularly visit Belgium I can recommend Mobile Vikings. They are happy to post the SIM to the UK, provide excellent support in English and provide 2 gigs valid for 30 days for 12 euro. Very good service. SIM costs 15 euro but includes first month, which you don't have to activate immediately.
Posted by leexgx over 5 years ago
they should have Data Roaming and Talk/text Roaming on there own, as currently its the same thing (they should be able to auto block data when roaming unless user requested data roaming as well as talk and text roaming, as they can Block the Data at request, as i call Orange to disable Disable Divert and data at the date when i go aboard)
Posted by vicdupreez over 5 years ago
I do not think that SMS is the problem... Those tend not to be that expensive. I agree with otester that it is far cheaper to get a local sim. I gave my blackberry back to my employer and said I can do this much cheaper with an unlocked iPhone and a local sim where I travel to... Been ahead of my colleagues every month since I started doing that, and I do not have to worry about how I use my phone...
Posted by m5rcc over 5 years ago
Despite this news there are offers out there. I always use T-Mobile's World Email Blackberry Booster, which despite the name, gives me unlimited worldwide data including tethered data for £15/mth.
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