EU roaming charges slashed by 75%; what it means for you?

Following up on its promise to slash roaming rates across the continent, the European Union cut roaming rates by as much as 75 per cent yesterday.

The new roaming rates will apply to all phones users until June of next year when they will be completely abolished.

While network operators across Europe could charge roaming rates of€0.19 and €0.05 per minute of outgoing and incoming calls, €0.06 per text and €0.20 per MB of internet data consumed, they will now be allowed to charge roaming rates at just €0.05 per minute of calling, €0.02 per text and €0.05 per MB of internet data consumed.

Going, going gone! No more roaming charges from June 2017

The move to abolish roaming rates across 28 member states of the European Union in a phased manner was upheld by the European Union parliament in June of last year. The cut that took effect yesterday was the second among a series of measures being implemented in a phased manner to abolish roaming rates. Back in July of last year, the EU cut roaming charges from 24 to 19 pence per minute of outgoing calls, from seven pence to five pence for every minute of incoming calls and the cost of sending a text message went down from eight to six pence. While operators could charge up to 70p in 2012 and 45p in 2014 for every MB of data consumed, the cost was also reduced to just 16p, including VAT, for every MB of data consumed. However, the cut could also force network operators to increase prices elsewhere to maintain their profit margins.

'Bill shock is a real worry for consumers when ‘roaming' in Europe whether on work or for holidays. So much so that uploading holiday pictures is a complete nightmare. This ruling is a massive win for consumers who travel frequently. However, this could also prove to be a costly ruling for them.'

Tesco Mobile scraps roaming charges in Europe, adds more countries than Three, iD

‘Every time mobile networks get done in for overcharging customers, it affects their profits margins and this in turn means that prices could potentially go up for customers.’ says Sunetra Chakravarti, Editor at Mobile Choice UK.

last week, Tesco Mobile announced that it will scrap roaming charges entirely for a limited period this year to let its customers enjoy their European vacations in the summer. Tesco Mobile will charge zero roaming charges between 23 May and 3 September as part of a new offering named Tesco Mobile Home From Home. The offer will be applicable to 31 countries across Europe including France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Netherlands.

Vodafone brings inclusive roaming on £30 Big Value Bundle

In June of last year, Google said that it was working on a  'wholesale access agreement' with Hutchison Whampoa to ensure that customers of Three could benefit from it's plans of doing away with roaming charges on international calls from anywhere in the world. The move was expected to benefit Three's user bases in the UK, Ireland, Italy and several other countries. This was also a part of Google's plans to turn into a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) by purchasing 3G and 4G networks at wholesale prices and selling them to customers at lesser rates.

Subsequently, Three added Spain and New Zealand to the list of countries where no roaming charges applied for British users from 1st April of this year. As part of the Feel At Home service, subscribers will be able to browse the internet, call and text home and be able to tweet and chat at no extra roaming cost away from home. The Feel At Home service can be availed by monthly payers, Pay-As-You-Go, SIM-only and mobile broadband customers- as long as International roaming is activated in their phones.

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