dataroam Blog

The European Commission and European Parliament have reached a preliminary deal which will progressively reduce charges for calls and texts when travelling abroad and impose a cap on data roaming charges.

Under the proposals, by July using mobile data while on holiday within the EU will cost 59p per megabyte (MB), but by the summer of 2014, these charges will fall to 17p per MB.

  • Current - No Cap!
  • July 2012 - £0.59/MB
  • July 2013 - £0.38/MB
  • July 2014 - £0.17/MB

Considering there is currently no limit on data roaming charges, the changes will be welcomed by the many people who have had to limit their smartphone and tablet use while abroad to prevent returning home to massive bills.

"Consumers are fed up with being ripped off by high roaming charges. The new roaming deal gives us a long-term structural solution, with lower prices, more choice and a new smart approach for data and internet browsing," said Neelie Kroes, EC vice president for the digital agenda.

Although there is currently no limit to what a company can charge consumers for data roaming for example, wholesale prices that operators charge each other are capped at just 42p which gives the potential of unlimited profit on the service.

The rules will also help consumers avoid bill shocks when travelling outside the EU.

From July, customers will be alerted by text message, email of pop-up window when they are approaching 50 euros (£42.00), or their pre-agreed level, of data downloads, and will need to confirm they want to continue.

Policymakers said they expect the proposals to be approved by the European Parliament in May and the European Council in June, paving the way for the new rules to enter into force on July 1.