6/3/2009 12:38:00 PM
Roaming costs increased by T-Mobile as EU price cap comes into force
T-Mobile is raising the price for making overseas calls in Europe by 6p, to 44p per minute.
The increase comes as EU directives on roaming charges are brought into force on 1 July.
The operator has blamed the volatile currency market, particularly the downturn in the value of the pound against the Euro over the last year, for increasing prices.
T-Mobile also justified the increase by saying it has had to reduce the price of sending text messages on the Continent, in line with price caps issued by the EU.
The cost of sending a text will drop from 25p to 11p, according to a note on the company’s website, while receiving a text will remain free. Taking a call in Europe will continue at the flat rate of 19p per minute.
The operator said it will ‘comply fully’ with EU directives, which cap the cost of SMS roaming, and blamed the increase in the cost of making a call on ‘the adverse Euro/Sterling rate’.
A T-Mobile spokesman said: ‘The EU Commission’s price caps are set in Euros, which for some time has increased our underlying costs of supporting roaming. The amended rate for making voice calls is compliant with the new EU directive.’
Corporate plans and Business 1-Plan customers are excluded from the price change.
Separately, the operator said customers calling back to the UK could still save money when roaming in the EU by using its ‘Euro Travel Boosters’, which reduce the cost of calls for a £5 payment.
Last month, Vodafone’s move to drop mobile roaming charges for three months prompted calls from regulators for other networks to follow suit.
From the start of June until August 2009, Vodafone customers will be able to make calls while abroad using minutes from their call bundles without the usual 75p connection fee.
Pressure on networks is mounting ahead of the new EU rules, intended to bring down roaming rates.