Friday 30 September 2016

Good news for holidaymakers as roaming charges reduced

Josie Clarke

Published 01/05/2016 | 02:30

The cost of using your mobile phone in other EU countries will be slashed from this weekend
The cost of using your mobile phone in other EU countries will be slashed from this weekend

The cost of using your mobile phone in other EU countries will be slashed from this weekend.

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“From today, the cost of using your mobile phone in another EU country will be significantly less. Costs will now be capped at domestic rates plus a maximum of 5c per call, 2c per text and 2c for MB of data,” said MEP Brian Hayes.

The reduction comes into force following an agreement reached last year that will see roaming charges in the EU abolished from June 15, 2017.

The cap makes roaming within the EU 75pc cheaper during the interim period, the European Commission has said.

Operators will now only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic users.

The charges will end altogether on June 15 next year, meaning mobile phone users will pay the same price to make calls, send text messages and use data wherever they are in the EU, as if they were at home.

The new rules aim to prevent consumers receiving huge bills after downloading films or other data while travelling in Europe.

European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, said the move was “not only about money, this is about bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market”.

Commissioner Gunther H Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, said the agreement showed that the EU could deliver tangible results to improve the daily life of Europeans, adding that “roaming charges will be soon old memories”.

Consumers have been especially vulnerable to roaming charges since the smartphone market exploded and mobile data consumption soared.

So-called “bill shock” from holidaying in the EU affects millions of mobile users a year, according to research by comparison website uSwitch.

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