July 1, 2014 saw the introduction of caps on mobile phone roaming charges across Europe – part of a move to that will eventually see roaming charges across the EU scrapped completely.
When in roam
Under the current set up, roaming charges are applied on top of standard tariff costs for calls, texts and data – such as browsing the internet or using social media apps on your phone – whenever you use your phone abroad.
And charges can soon add up to astronomical levels – as one Liverpool woman found when she ran up a bill of over £5,000 while on a trip to New York – which is why the Eurpoean Commission has been taking steps to reduce charges since 2007.
Data from the Commission shows data roaming is now 25 times cheaper than it was in 2010 and costs were cut by as much as 35% last summer and this years has even halved some charges.
Put your cap on it
And so roaming charges for making calls across the EU are now capped at just 15p per minute, while the cost of receiving calls will set you back no more than 4p per minute – although it still seems odd to be charged for incoming calls!
If texting is more your thing, sending a message from Europe has also come down, with roaming charges capped at 5p per message and data roaming charges have dropped by more than half (55%) to 16p per Megabyte.
Europena Commission vice president, Neelie Kroes, said: “This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer. But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market?’Seal the deal’
Adding: “By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed – the Parliament has done their part, now it is up to Member States to seal the deal!”
In April this year, the European Parliament voted by a landslide 534 to 25 to scrap EU roaming charges in April this year and we could see the end of roaming charges across Europe as soon December 15, 2015.
Which will obviously be great news for anyone travelling to Europe on either business or pleasure.
In order to completely avoid roaming charges you can turn off data roaming in your phone’s settings by going to Settings > Cellular and turn data roaming off on iOS or Settings > More > Mobile Networks and turn data roaming off on Android.
And it’s a good idea to do this if you’re going to be using you phone abroad as many smartphone apps will silently download ‘background data’ unless the function is turned off.
And you can now use your mobile to quickly, easily and cheaply make a conference call – click here to find out how.