New deal to cut mobile roaming prices, including data services
The cost of using mobile phones, smartphones and tablets when travelling abroad within the EU will fall sharply from 1 July this year, under an agreement with the Council endorsed by Parliament on Thursday. The new rules will also enable clients to buy roaming services from suppliers other than their home service suppliers and open up the market to new entrants, so as to boost competition and thus reduce prices.
Under pressure from MEPs, the cost of using data services will be capped at 70 Euro cents per megabyte from 1 July 2012 and will then fall in stages to 45 cents in 2013 and 20 cents on 1 July 2014.
New retail caps on voice calls will reduce the cost of a one-minute call to 29 cents from 1 July 2012 and 19 cents from July 2014, down from the current maximum of 35 cents. Text messages will also be cheaper, falling from the current maximum price of 11 cents to 9 cents on 1 July this year and 6 cents on 1 July 2014.
The proposal will enter into force on 1 July 2012, replacing the 2007 regulation, which expires on 30 June 2012.