Mobile data fees cut in half for holidaymakers

mobile roaming

The EU has cut mobile data costs by 55 per cent for those traveling around the region from today.

The action on roaming rates takes effects in all countries within the EU. Mobile calling and texting rates will also be decreased, but the cut will not be as impressive.

Using the internet in another EU country will fall to 0.20 (16p) per megabyte, more than half of the previous cost of 0.45 (36p), while calls will cost 0.19 Euro cents (15p) per minute instead of 0.24 (20p). The cost of receiving calls will drop from 0.07 (6p) to 0.05 (4p) and texts will cost a maximum of 5p.

Neelie Kroes, the EU telecoms commissioner, said: "This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer."

Kroes is hoping this advance in the battle against roaming charges will go one step further in all 28 EU countries by the end of this year by abolishing all roaming fees, but the remaining challenge is getting all EU governments to agree to the European Commission's proposals to overhaul the mobile telecoms market.

Kroes has called for EU operators to take the same steps as US carriers when allowing their customers to roam.

"It is still ridiculous in my opinion that companies in the US give their customers free roaming to more than 100 countries including the EU, but European customers are still not enjoying the same opportunity," she said.

Users will also have the option of switching their network when abroad to provide the cheapest option.

Three already offers the Feel At Home deal, which allows its customers to browse while in selected countries around the world using home data limits, minutes and texts. Although this feature is attractive for those who travel to the US, Hong Kong and a handful of other countries, many of those territories included in the plan aren't in the EU.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.