Saturday 25 October 2014

Roaming charges for Europe to be slashed by over 50pc

Published 25/06/2014 | 02:30

Roaming charges are set to be slashed
Roaming charges are set to be slashed

THE cost of going online in Europe will be slashed by over 50pc next week.

Consumers uploading selfies to Instagram, browsing the news or catching up on World Cup goals online will all benefit from hefty price reductions in the cost of using their phone overseas.

Roaming charges are being cut throughout the EU from July 1 in order to encourage consumers to use their mobiles more while on holiday.

Call and text charges are being reduced but the biggest reductions are for downloading data where the cost is being reduced from 45c per MB to 20c per MB.

This contrasts with the situation two years ago when it cost a staggering €5 per MB to browse the internet overseas.

The new price ceilings mean that a holidaymaker will now pay just €31 for a range of internet services on their phone that would have cost an eye-watering €984 in 2010.

The new cap on roaming surcharges for using your phone in another EU country will cut the weekly bill for uploading a photo a day from €6.30 at present to €2.80, the EU Commission said.

The weekly cost of spending half-an-hour a day on Facebook will be slashed from €15.75 to €7 under the new price regime. The cost of making calls will fall by 21pc while the price of sending a text will reduce by 25pc.

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes said that the huge drop in roaming prices would make a big difference to consumers this summer.

"But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed," she said.

The EU parliament has already agreed roaming charges should be abolished by the end of 2015 but this still has to be signed off by EU member states at council level.

Under the measures this summer, mobile companies have to offer their customers a specific roaming deal before they travel and allow them the option of choosing a local mobile provider for data services instead.

Irish Independent

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