EU to end mobile phones ripoff by slashing roaming charges
Published 07/07/2011 | 05:00
THE EU Commission wants to see ripoff roaming charges ended by 2015, accusing phone companies of making "outrageous profit margins" on them.
It is proposing a new law that would allow customers sign up for cheaper mobile roaming prices when they travel abroad, increasing competition in order to bring roaming markups close to zero. The move would benefit consumers making calls, sending texts and surfing the internet on their mobiles while travelling within the EU .
Measures announced yesterday include the first ever cap on the retail price paid by consumers for data (internet) roaming overseas -- which would be limited to 90 cent per Megabyte from July 2012, and then reduced further to 50 cent by 2014.
Irish consumers currently pay up to €5 per MB to download songs and surf the internet while abroad, though the EU last year introduced an automatic cutoff when bills exceed €60.
The cost of making calls abroad would also be reduced from 35c per minute to 24c under the new EU moves, while the cost of sending texts or receiving a call would be cut to 10 cent.