Roaming charges have less than a year of life left in them if proposed changes to the rules are fully implemented.
"Incoming call charges while travelling in the EU would be banned from 1 July 2014. Companies would have the choice to either 1) offer phone plans that apply everywhere in the European Union ("roam like at home"), the price of which will be driven by domestic competition, or 2) allow their customers to “decouple”, that is: opt for a separate roaming provider who offers cheaper rates (without having to buy a new SIM card). This builds on the 2012 Roaming Regulation which subjects operators to wholesale price cuts of 67% for data in July 2014.News on changes to roaming charges in EU
For those who take their phone on holiday this will be very welcome and stories of bill shock are a common staple for consumer columns in newspaper in August and September. The question mark that is looming over this good news is what the side effects may be, apparently roaming is worth some £6 billion to the operators across Europe and it is unlikely they will simply give up this revenue. We having a feeling that we may see call plans increase in price to compensate.
The removal of roaming charges has gained the largest press coverage but there is also to be an end to international call premiums between member states, where a fixed call between countries in the EU cannot be charged at a higher cost than a long distance domestic call, this applies to both mobile and fixed line telephone. A price cap will also be placed in mobile calls between countries of 19 cents (plus VAT) per call.
The rise of the anytime and international calls add-ons have slashed peoples telephone bills compared to a decade ago, but we suspect they are also part of the reason that line rental prices have increased.
There is much more proposed by the EU as part of their push for a single telecoms market, but we are attempting to split it out into the various component parts to avoid massively long articles.