Mobile Broadband could be about to get a lot cheaper across Europe as the EU try and push through changes to roaming rules.
The European Parliament voted last week in favour of adapting to the existing rules, meaning that from July this year it will begin to become significantly cheaper to surf the internet through a Mobile Broadband connection whilst abroad in Europe. The price of mobile voice calls and text messages will also be reduced.
Additional roaming measures will also be put in place to protect those travelling outside of the EU and to try and prevent large bills being run up accidently:
“Alerts in the EU to prevent “bill shocks” will be extended to also cover people travelling outside the (European) Union. As from 1 July 2012, people will get a warning message when they approach 50 Euros of charges in a month (excluding VAT), if the foreign network is compatible.”
The EU have also taken steps to spate out home-based tariffs and roaming tariffs to try and remove the confusing over when customers can use their phone and how much it will cost:
“From 1 July 2014, customers will be able to buy their domestic and roaming services separately, from different operators, if they so wish, whilst keeping the same phone number. They will not be charged for switching providers and their home country provider will be obliged to inform them of this right.”
The new rules will be adapted by the EU council of Ministers in June 2012 and they will come into force the following month. The European Council are set to review Mobile Broadband roaming charges again in June 2016 to ensure the new rules are successful.
Below is a table which reflects the current and new retail price caps (excluding VAT):
|Currently||1st July 2012||1st July 2012||1st July 2014|
|Data (per Mb)||None set||70 cents||45 cents||20 cents|
|Voice- calls made (per minute)||35 cents||29 cents||24 cents||19 cents|
|Voice- calls received (per minute)||11 cents||8 cents||7 cents||5 cents|
|SMS (per SMS)||11 cents||9 cents||8 cents||6 cents|