European Union to Lower Roaming Fees for Voice and Data
The European Parliament voted on Thursday to approve a plan that will significantly lower the cost of roaming for customers of European Union mobile operators when visiting other EU countries starting July 1.
Price controls on roaming were first put into effect in July 2007 and allowable roaming charges have been lowered every year since.
The current roaming cap for placing voice calls is 35 cents per minute and that will fall to 29 cents on July 1. The cap for incoming calls will fall from 11 cents to 8 cents then and is scheduled to drop to 5 cents by July 2014.
On the data side, something of increasing concern for smartphone users, a cap of 70 cents per megabyte will come into effect on July 1. The charge is set to fall to 20 cents by July 2014.
Currently the price cap on text messages is 11 cents. That will drop to 9 cents per message come July and 6 cents by July 2014.
To prevent surprises during a trip, customers will receive a text message if roaming fees are poised to exceed €50.
Neelie Kroes, the EU’s minister for telecommunications, said that the new lower rates will save business traveles an average of €1000 or $1291 at today’s exchange rate.