Business Technology

Sunday 19 November 2017

Data roaming costs to be capped at €7.70 per GB under new agreement

The €7.70 charge will only kick in once a phone user’s ordinary domestic data allowance is used up.
The €7.70 charge will only kick in once a phone user’s ordinary domestic data allowance is used up.
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Data roaming costs are to be capped at €7.70 per gigabyte (GB) from this June according to a new agreement between European Commission regulators and EU countries.

However, the €7.70 charge will only kick in once a phone user’s ordinary domestic data allowance is used up.

That means phone users with 5GB of monthly data can still use that data on their phone at no roaming charge when travelling in any other EU country.

From June 15, most roaming charges associated with calls, texts and data browsing are being abolished across the EU. Phones can be used as normal across the continent with no surcharges, unless the phone exceeds the limits set domestically by its monthly plan.

If a user exceeds their ordinary monthly allowance, they can be charged a maximum of 3.2 cents per minute for voice calls or one cent per text message.

However, it remains to be seen how Irish mobile operators enforce ‘all you can eat’ data plans. Under current rules, such plans have ‘fair use’ limits of between 15GB and 60GB per month. While operators say that they rarely charge customers for exceeding such limits, they may apply stricter rules when it comes to customers going over their fair use allowances while roaming on other operators in other European countries.

Data roaming surcharges will continue to come down under the new EU-wide agreement. From January 2018, the wholesale cost per GB will fall to €6, decreasing again to €4.50 from January 2019. It will settle at €2.50 per GB from January 2022.

There is still uncertainty about whether European mobile operators will seek to include the UK in roaming arrangements after that country leaves the EU.

Data roaming costs are to be capped at €7.70 per gigabyte (GB) from this June according to a new agreement between European Commission regulators and EU countries.

However, the €7.70 charge will only kick in once a phone user’s ordinary domestic data allowance is used up.

That means phone users with 5GB of monthly data can still use that data on their phone at no roaming charge when travelling in any other EU country.

From June 15, most roaming charges associated with calls, texts and data browsing are being abolished across the EU. Phones can be used as normal across the continent with no surcharges, unless the phone exceeds the limits set domestically by its monthly plan.

If a user exceeds their ordinary monthly allowance, they can be charged a maximum of 3.2 cents per minute for voice calls or one cent per text message.

However, it remains to be seen how Irish mobile operators enforce ‘all you can eat’ data plans. Under current rules, such plans have ‘fair use’ limits of between 15GB and 60GB per month. While operators say that they rarely charge customers for exceeding such limits, they may apply stricter rules when it comes to customers going over their fair use allowances while roaming on other operators in other European countries.

Data roaming surcharges will continue to come down under the new EU-wide agreement. From January 2018, the wholesale cost per GB will fall to €6, decreasing again to €4.50 from January 2019. It will settle at €2.50 per GB from January 2022.

There is still uncertainty about whether European mobile operators will seek to include the UK in roaming arrangements after that country leaves the EU.

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