Mobile roaming charges

Mobile roaming charges


Mobile phone

Cheaper roaming calls to apply from 1st July 2011

As of today (1st July), mobile phone roaming charges will become cheaper as part of an EU regulation agreed 2 years ago to gradually reduce the costs of making and receiving calls from abroad.The EU ‘Roaming II’ regulation was adopted in 2009, foreseeing a consecutive decrease of roaming prices up to 2011. As of 1st of July, the ceiling for voice calls will be lowered for the third consecutive year down to €0.35 per minute (excluding VAT) for outgoing and a maximum of €0.11 per minute (excluding VAT) for incoming roaming calls.  EU nationals travelling on holiday this summer outside their home country will be the direct beneficiaries.

Adina Valean (PNL, Romania), the author of Parliament’s report at the time which approved the measures believes the measures were necessary to correct the excessive prices being charged by phone operators:

I would prefer not to have to intervene directly in the market place to set price caps. However, I also believe in a borderless Europe where the rights concerning the free movement of persons and goods are ensured and the right to protect the travelling public from abusive tariffs for phone calls”.

The regulation will expire in June 2012 and the European Commission is in the process of reviewing its impact.

”I hope the Commission will propose structural solutions to tackle the underlying problem of high roaming rates. My view is that we should be aiming at a long-term solution that would bring roaming charges close to national prices, adding possibly a small supplement to cover the real costs incurred by operators”, she declared.

In 2009, Adina Valean succeeded in reaching an agreement with the Council to progressively reduce voice, SMS and data tariffs for consumers travelling within the EU. Starting in 2009 with €0.43 per minute (excluding VAT) for outgoing calls and €0.19 per minute (excluding VAT) for incoming roaming, the prices will now be capped to a maximum. A text message (SMS) now costs a maximum of €0.11 (excluding VAT), representing a reduction of 60% on the average pre 2009 rate. At the same time, data roaming is reduced from €1 to 80 cents per Megabyte.

For more information, please contact:
Corlett Neil – Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84