Operators are set to be hit by cuts to roaming charges, with consumers to benefit from cheaper prices while overseas from Monday.
The changes, which were imposed by the European Commission, will lower the price caps for data downloads by 36%, making it 91% cheaper to go online this summer compared to 2007. During this six year period the data market has exploded, with volume growing 630%.The cost of making calls will be capped at 24 cents per minute plus VAT, a 17% reduction on last year. Receiving a call will be 12.5% cheaper, with it capped at 7 cents per minute plus VAT. Sending a text will cost 8 cents plus VAT, an 11% reduction on 12 months ago.
Operators have seen these charges as a lucrative source of income and many have already moved to introduce their own plans for consumers travelling overseas. For example, Vodafone's EuroTraveller allows customers to use their monthly allowance while abroad for £3 per day.
European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes said: 'The EU has to be relevant to people’s lives. The latest price cuts put more money in your pocket for summer, and are a critical step towards getting rid of these premiums once and for all. This is good for both consumers and companies, because it takes fear out of the market, and it grows the market.'
Author: Graeme Neill