EU cuts cost of roaming

Texting, making and receiving calls and accessing the internet on your mobile whilst in Europe is set to become considerably cheaper as of July.

The European Parliament has voted in favour of new EU rules on SMS and data roaming, proposed by the European Commission back in September 2008.

A text message sent from abroad in the EU will cost no more than 11 euro cents as of 1 July, instead of the 0.28 euros today.

Calls, now at 0.46 euros per minute for calls made and 0.22 per minute for calls received abroad, will go down to 0.43 for calls made and 0.19 for calls received from 1 July 2009, and down to 0.35 and 0.11 by 1 July 2011.

Data roaming charges will see a wholesale cap of 1 euro per megabyte downloaded, compared to current levels as high as 6.82 euros.

Mobile operators will also have to bill roaming calls by the second from the 31st second.

These measures mean European consumers are expected to save up to 60% on their bill for using a mobile phone abroad in the EU.

"Today's vote marks the definite end of the roaming rip off in Europe", said EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding.

"Thanks to the strong support of the European Parliament and the Council, the new roaming rules were agreed in the record time of just 7 months. Just in time for the summer holidays, European citizens will now be able to see the single market without borders on their phone bills".


>