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.