Regulations to cut the price of using your mobile phone abroad today came into force across the European Union (EU).
Mobile operators have come under fierce scrutiny from the ruling body for charging high rates to citizens when they use their mobiles in other EU countries. As a result, the European Commission (EC) voted in new rules to limit the charges users could incur when making calls, texting or accessing data in European countries.
Rates were first cut in July 2012 but further reductions came in today, with an additional fall on 1 July 2014 still to come.
In addition to the price caps, the EU has mandated that mobile operators notify users when they reach 80% of their data roaming mobile limit and cut off the mobile internet when they reach it – unless otherwise requested from the user.
It will be down to the telecoms regulator in each country – such as Ofcom in the UK – to enforce the ruling, with consumers advised to contact their relevant body if they feel their operator is not complying.
However, this will not affect EU citizens using their mobiles in other countries, such as in the US or Asia.
|1 July 2013||1 July 2014|
|Outgoing voice calls (per minute)||€0.24||€0.19|
|Incoming voice calls (per minute)||€0.07||€0.05|
|Outgoing texts (per SMS message)||€0.08||€0.06|
|Online (data download, per MB)||€0.45||€0.20|
Earlier this month a group of 27 European Commissioners voted to end roaming charges altogether in an attempt to unite the European telecoms market, which currently has 100 operators, compared with four in the US.
A recent report from iPass on the mobile workforce showed 43% of remote workers had experienced an expensive data roaming bill in the past year, with an average “bill shock” of £715.