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Mobile roaming charges cut from 1st July

by Mark Tyson on 10 May 2012, 23:46

Tags: Orange (NYSE:FTE), Vodafone (LON:VOD), T-Mobile (NYSE:DT), O2/Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), Three (HKG:0013)

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Today the European Parliament voted 578 to 10 (with 10 abstentions) to lower the price caps on mobile charges for people travelling with their mobiles throughout Europe. The new charging limits come into force on July 1st this year.

Maximum price caps were introduced in 2007 due to consumer outrage in the price of mobile roaming when travelling in Europe. Prices were unjustifiably high in Europe without any particular reason except that the operators could get away with it. The new cuts come as the European Commission aim to reduce the difference between home country mobile use and roaming in Europe to nothing by 2015.

The charges from 1st July 2012 are to be capped as follows:

Retail ceilings (charged to consumers) excluding VAT, prices in Euro cents.



1 July 2012

1 July 2013

1 July 2014

Data (per megabyte)


70 cents (56p)

45 cents

20 cents

Phone calls made (per minute)

35 cents

29 cents (23p)

24 cents

19 cents

Phone calls received (per minute)

11 cents

8 cents (6.5p)

7 cents

5 cents

SMS (per SMS)

11 cents

9 cents (7p)

8 cents

6 cents


There’s other good news beyond these basic price reductions that should bring we consumers even better savings. Starting from July 2014 consumers will be able to choose a network other than their existing national operator for roaming services. Here’s how the European Parliament press release puts it; “From 1 July 2014, customers will be able to buy their domestic and roaming services separately, from different operators, if they so wish, whilst keeping the same phone number. They will not be charged for switching providers and their home country provider will be obliged to inform them of this right.”

This is good news for the European traveller who sometimes had to juggle SIM cards to pay reasonable affordable charges for mobile use while losing the ability to easily contact and be contactable by the plethora of friends, relatives and business associates they might want to keep some line of communications open with. I also wonder how the separate roaming services will affect operator locked handsets. I recently called up to get my contract phone unlocked in anticipation of a short European trip and was informed “It’s £15 because we get charged that”. Disappointed with my contract provider’s answer I hit Google and found I could unlock it for free, the free method worked, nice result.

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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£7 for 10 meg is still a lot.
£7 for 10 meg is still a lot.

I think you mean €7 or £5.60 but its far better than the £3.07 Orange charge per megabyte at the moment. Plus it only gets better year after year. Its all good news for consumers.

'Bout Time
I still think it's completely wrong that both parties get charged for the call - full on ballbag
It is pretty logical though.

Someone in the UK shouldn't have to pay more just because the person they are calling is in europe (they might not know this at the time). It wouldn't be fair if they got hit with a large bill. I don't see the problem, in principal, with the roaming mobile picking up an international call charge. However, the charges that used to be in place until the EU got involved were completely outrageous.

Shame nothing can be done about the £1.50/min when outside the EU :(