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EU Steps In to Limit Roaming Data Charges

Gordon Kelly by

EU Steps In to Limit Roaming Data Charges

Wondering why network's roaming data rates have started to get ever so slightly more reasonable in the last few weeks? Perhaps it was out of the goodness of their own hearts? No, don't be silly...

As I've long said, networks are greedy. They push the rules to the limit and only make changes when forced - usually by the full force of the European Commission, and that is again what has happened today.

Following through on its threats to substantially cut roaming data costs if networks didn't make the necessary changes themselves (naturally, they didn't), as of now rates have been cut to one euro per megabyte. Yes that is exactly the rate Orange generously "offered" its customers last week courtesy of its Travel Data Daily tariff. On the plus side T-Mobile has beaten that with Euro Boosters which starts from 3MB for £1.

On top of this new enforcement providers are obliged to cut off their subscribers when their bill reaches 50 euros as of 1 July. This can be changed if the customer specifically wants it, though a warning must also be sent once a bill approaches 80 per cent of its chosen limit.

"Protection against data roaming bill shocks is a useful step towards building customers' confidence to use mobile networks to surf the Internet when travelling around Europe," said Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes. "Such confidence is essential if people and businesses are to use the Internet to its full potential."

Aside from the data price reductions mobile roaming calls will see the maximum rate for making a call cut to 0.43 euros and 0.19 euros for receiving one. Texts will be charged at 0.11 euros and are free to receive.

"It's a shame that despite the huge numbers of complaints, mobile operators dragged their feet and we have had to use the full force of the law to get consumers a fair deal on prices," said Labour European Parliamentary representative Arlene McCarthy to the Associated Press.

We couldn't agree more...


EC Statement

Image courtesy of Sea Sun and SMS (Facebook EU Roaming Rates Fan Site)

Go to comments


March 3, 2010, 8:52 pm

So, wait, the EU has ruled that carriers MUST have a maximum charge, yet the carriers are saying that you must *buy* a specific *extra* tariff in order to get the new imposed limits?

Surely that's actually breaking the rules and the caps should now automatically apply to EVERYONE?

Am I missing something there?


March 3, 2010, 9:10 pm

No, they will become defacto but it was a token last ditch effort by some networks. Tariffs such as Euro Boosters from T-Mobile do actually beat the EC enforced rate, thankfully


March 3, 2010, 9:22 pm

Either way anything is better than the £5 for 10mb I pay to Voda right now.


March 4, 2010, 1:10 am

@ Max Power: you might want to check your maths, 10Mb = &#836410 = £9 so your out of pocket if voda just followed the EU and offered no packages


March 4, 2010, 4:19 am

I'm in Ireland, and I discovered that the cheapest data rate I can get while roaming in the UK is 1c/kB, or &#836410.24/MB, with no cap! Madness!

Glad to see this coming in.


March 4, 2010, 5:57 am

What.. no anti-EU posters. They must all be off reading the Daily Express.

Tony Walker

March 4, 2010, 5:23 pm


If you're over here regularly why not get one of the local PAYG dongles or a "MiFi" with a WiFi enabled phone.


March 4, 2010, 8:29 pm

Someone should do something about the rip off that occurs when you visit 'Other countries' T-Mobile want to charge me £7.50/Mb in Tunisia!


March 6, 2010, 3:53 pm

the best solution: WiFi and VOIP !

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