EU proposals seek overseas data roaming cap of 80p

Everyone has made the mistake of download the odd picture message or app whilst abroad and had to suffer the subsequent phone bill. 

Thanks to EU proposals announced on Wednesday it looks like those expensive data roaming charges could be a thing of the past, with a cap of 80p being introduced next July.

Better still, you will be able to switch to different providers whilst abroad, meaning bigger pricing competition between networks. Expect plentiful adverts for roaming costs to begin appearing in airports. 

First to jump on the data cap bandwagon is mobile network Three:

“Our customers use their smartphones across the UK without fear of cost but must dramatically change the way they use their phones when they go abroad due to high data roaming charges." said Three UK CEO David Dyson.

"We support the European Commission's objective of bringing the cost of roaming data down to domestic levels, but to achieve that the Commission needs to go further than the proposed caps." he added. 

Things just keep getting better for travelling mobile phone user it seems. Alongside the data cap is also a price restriction on calls and texts. Expect an ongoing drop on call costs from July 2012, starting at 28p the first year, 25p the next and 21p by 2014.

The danger is that the increased savings will raise mobile costs elsewhere. That said anything is better than some of the current pricing on mobile data.T-Mobile customers for example can expect to pay £1.50 per Mb for a quick trip over to France. 

It is important to remember that this data decision only applies to the EU. Head further afield and you could be hit by similar or even larger charges than currently exist. 

Still, makes sending those pictures home of next years Summer holidays a bit less painful.

Happy to see the cap? Or do you expect to be stung elsewhere? Let us know in the comments below...

Pic Ed Yourdon