From Sunday (1 July) mobile roaming prices across Europe will be reduced

29 Jun 2012

On Sunday, Europeans, or anyone travelling within the EU for that matter, will see reductions in the price of roaming voice calls and text messages, a price cap on data roaming and transparency for roaming outside the EU.

European ministers in May agreed to the new EU roaming regulation that will reduce the cost of data roaming in Europe.

This new regulation will lower the prices for using mobile phones and tablets within the EU until 2014.

New roaming charges from 1 July

The maximum charges that apply to consumers when roaming in the EU from 1 July are:

Voice calls made – maximum charge of 35.67 cents per minute (reduced from 43.05 cents).

Voice calls received – maximum charge of 9.84 cents per minute (reduced from 13.53 cents).

SMS – maximum charge of 11.07 cents per SMS sent (reduced from 13.53 cents). To receive an SMS is free.

A new data price cap – a maximum charge 86.10 cents per megabyte (MB) of data

Transparency rules

Under the transparency measures, when a consumer travels in the EU they must receive an SMS from their mobile operator advising them of the costs of roaming.

This includes the cost of calls made and received, the cost of sending an SMS/MMS, and the cost per megabyte of data. The message will include a freephone number to contact the operator when roaming and detail of the European emergency number 112.

A consumer who data roams is opted to a data cap/alert of €60/50 (inc VAT).

The consumer will also be alerted when they reach 80pc of the cap and 100pc of the cap. After that they must consent to be allowed to data roam.

Also from 1 July, consumers who travel outside the EU will receive the data alert while travelling and if the operator can’t alert them due to network limitations in a particular country, users should receive SMS messages telling them so.

ComReg said advice and tips on the mobile roaming changes is available online.

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