EU plans to lower the cost of roaming charges have progressed further as of Tuesday. Data roaming charges have been lowered to half the previous rate as newer rules become active. The date is significant, the EU aimed to have these changes in place to coincide with the summer holiday season. The move is part of an overall target to scrap roaming fees by 2015.
The plan is headed by Neelie Kroes, commissioner for digital policies for the EU. Kroes has had a history of supporting consumer rights in the telecommunication industry. Previously those travelling have often been subjected to “bill shock” returning to their home country with a collection of roaming charges added to their bill.
Details of the price drops are as follows:
Former: 45-euro cents (36p) per megabyte
Current: 20-euro cents (16p) per megabyte
Former: 24-euro cents (19p) per minute
Current: 19-euro cents (15p) per minute
Sending a text (excluding pictures):
Former: 8-euro cents (6p)
Current: 6-euro cents (5p)
Receiving a call:
Former: 7-euro cents (6p) per minute
Current: 5-euro cents (4p) per minute
It is worth noting that these changes only apply within EU member states. Naturally this means consumers should be careful when travelling outside of Europe.
The long-term goal is to equalize fees across Europe, ensuring that the cost of making a call, sending a text or downloading data, is the same abroad as it is at home. The EU has passed the motion via vote however they now need the approval of member states.