EU has reduced roaming charges
The EU is committed to consumer protection and price stability and has also worked hard to keep prices low and work for a fair market in many areas.
A good example of the practical effect of this in recent years, has been the regulations surrounding mobile phone roaming prices. The EU has introduced new maximum fees for and for receiving calls calling between countries. As of 1 July, the following regulations came into effect:
- Limits the price for sending a text message while abroad at €0.11. Receiving an SMS in another EU country will remain free of charge.
- Reduces the cost of surfing the web and downloading movies or video programs with a mobile phone while abroad by introducing a maximum wholesale cap of €1 per megabyte downloaded. This limit will be decreased each
- The new rules will also protect consumers from “bill shocks” by introducing a cut-off mechanism once the bill reaches €50, unless they choose another cut-off limit (recently, a German downloading a TV programme while roaming in France faced a bill of €46,000). Operators have until March 2010 to put this cut-off limit in place.
- Further reduces prices for mobile roaming calls with a maximum tariff of €0.43 for making a call and €0.19 for receiving one.
- These prices are to be further reduced to €0.35 and €0.11 respectively by summer 2011.
- Introduce per second billing after the first 30 seconds for calls made and immediately for calls received.
- Ensure that citizens are kept adequately informed of the charges that apply for data roaming services.
The European Commission also provides easy-to-use information on its web site detailing phone rates between countries.