April 2, 2012
Provisional deal agreed to lower mobile roaming costs
A deal has been provisionally agreed between MEPs and the Danish Presidency of the Council of Ministers to lower mobile data roaming and phone call charges while overseas.
While the plan still requires the approval of the European Parliament as a whole, if successful it would come into effect from July this year and limit the cost of mobile phone use to a reasonable degree.
A downloaded megabyte would cost no more than 70 cents from July this year; 45 cents from next year and 20 cents from 2014. The Industry Committee also suggested that a one-minute call would cost more than 29 cents from July 2012 and 19 cents from July 2014.
Marzena Lipman, European policy manager at Consumer Focus, commented on the plans: “‘Moves to tackle excessive roaming charges are really good news for anyone travelling in the European Union.
“Mobile and data charges have been notoriously high for too long and stories of people inadvertently being hit with sky-high bills are common. Plans to open up competition and lower set price caps are to be commended.”
She added that similar levels of protection should be added to people using their phone in the UK in order to prevent them from spending more than they are able to afford.