EU cuts mobile roaming charges

The European Union has cut the fees that mobile phone users are charged for making calls and accessing the Internet in other EU countries. 

From today, the maximum roaming fee a telecommunications operator can charge for a phone call between EU countries has been cut 17% to 29 Euro cents (25p) per minute. 

The maximum cost of a text message has dropped 11% to 8 Euro cents (7p).

The biggest drop comes in mobile Internet data prices. From today, the maximum fee per MB is down 35% to 45 Euro cents (39p). 

Back in 2009, the maximum cost per MB was €6. 

Fees will be slashed again in one year's time. An infographic from the European Commission details the full rate changes.

Cutting mobile roaming charges is one component of European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes's bid to create a single telecommunications market in the EU. 

Kroes has said that she aims to eliminate all roaming charges between EU countries by 2015. 

In May, Kroes promised to propose a "strong package" of telecommunications reforms to the European Parliament this summer, in the hope that they will be adopted before next year's elections. 

She hinted that she may bring the proposal to scrap roaming charges forward. "I want you to be able to go back to your constituents and say that you were able to end mobile roaming costs," she told MEPs in a speech announcing the proposals.  

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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