EU moves to cut data roaming by 55pc across Europe

25 Jun 2014

From 1 July, the European Union will cut price caps for data downloads by more than 55pc – down from 45 cents per megabyte to 20 cents per megabyte.

As a result, for example, football fans travelling in the EU during this World Cup season will pay 25 times less for data roaming compared to data-roaming charges during the World Cup in 2010.

The new price cuts will see a 21pc drop in the price of making a call, from 24 cents to 19 cents, while the cost of receiving a call will fall by 28.5pc, from 7 cents per minute to just 5 cents per minute.

The cost of sending a text message will drop by 25pc, from 8 cents to 6 cents.

The end of roaming is in sight

EU data roaming

“This huge drop in data-roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer,” said Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission with responsibility for the Digital Agenda.

“But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year, I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed. The Parliament has done its part, now it is up to Member States to seal the deal!”

Roaming charges were at their peak years ago, when the EU started to take action in 2007. The result is a 80-90pc drop across roaming services in 2014 compared to 2007.

The EU is working on new rules to eliminate roaming charges altogether. The Commission’s Connected Continent regulation would see the end of roaming charges and a guaranteed, open and neutral internet, as well as better consumer protection for mobile and broadband users.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years