Using your phone abroad is about to get a lot cheaper, thanks to new regulations put in place by the European Parliament.
As of July 1st 2012, making a phone call from Europe will cost no more than €0.29 (23p*) per minute. Receiving a call will be not exceed 8 cents (6p) per minute, and text message charges will be no greater than 9 cents (7p). Data charges will be capped 70 cents (56p) per Mb. VAT will be added to these costs.
* All prices in GBP are based on today’s (16/5/12) exchange rate.
This is great news for travellers who have fallen victim to “shock bills” as a result of regular mobile use abroad. What’s more, the rates are only going to get cheaper, with prices set to drop each July for the next two years. By July 2014, downloads will cost a maximum of 20 cents (16p) per Mb.
Wired UK put the new capped data prices into context well – downloading a song of average size (5Mb) from iTunes would cost a maximum of £2.95 in 2012, but only 80p in 2014.
By 2014, customers will also be able to shop around for a cheaper roaming provider, while keeping their own number. This is sure to induce competition between providers, making it highly likely that cost will drop well below the maximums stated.