EU roaming charges are set to drop further next month once new maximum charges set by the EU come in to effect for calls, data and texting. The EU have been working hard to bring down mobile phone charges for consumers when abroad and to help avoid a phenomenon known as "bill shock", where holiday makers can find themselves hit with a huge bill for using their mobile phone when away. A summary of the current charges and charges that will change in July 2013 and July 2014 are below.
|Current and proposed retail price caps (excluding VAT)|
|1st July 2012||1st July 2013||1st July 2014|
|Data (per MB)||70 cents||45 cents||20 cents|
|Voice calls made (per minute)||29 cents||24 cents||19 cents|
|Voice calls received (per minute)||8 cents||7 cents||5 cents|
|SMS (per SMS)||9 cents||8 cents||6 cents|
There is a significant fall (35%) in costs for data usage which should help users use a little more for less. It's also worth remembering that when in Europe there is a €50 per month roaming cap on data charges which should also help avoid bill shock. It's also worth checking with your mobile phone network what offers they have for using your phone abroad as it can often by beneficial to opt in to a package that provides better calls and data rates for no or low costs.
There may be further benefits than those already announced as the European Vice President, Neelie Kroes in a speech last week called for mobile roaming charges in Europe to be scrapped altogether, aiding the creation of a single market for telecommunications. She hopes that this would be possible from "around Easter 2014." This proposal is likely to be unpopular with the mobile phone companies however as roaming costs can prove to be a high revenue source.