EU roaming charges to be slashed

Mobile and globe

Expensive roaming fees for using the internet on your mobile phone while in the EU are to be reduced.

Using the internet on your mobile will now cost no more than 81p per megabyte (Mb) from July 2012, and no more than 40p by 2014. There are also plans to align home and roaming rates by 2015, according to European Union regulations.

These rules will only apply when you are in a country that is a member of the EU.

Currently the average price you would have to pay for using the internet from your phone is £1.87 Mb per minute, according to uSwitch. O2 charges the highest (£3.07 per Mb) and Vodafone charges the lowest (£1.00 per Mb).

High charges

A massive 83% of mobile phone users think current charges are too high and nearly half of all British people have arrived home to an average bill of £149 after being on holiday, according to uSwitch.

Last week, call charges for mobile phones in the EU were dropped from 35p to 32p per minute. The cost of receiving calls when you're abroad in the EU also fell as a 10p cap on incoming calls was introduced.

The EU began the process of cutting expensive charges by introducing a €50 cap on internet costs last year. But Ernest Doku, spokesperson at uSwitch, says this didn't go far enough and simply limited the amount people could use their phone, rather than reducing the charges.

Doku says: "By lowering call and text charges to a manageable level, consumers now have the freedom to roam at an affordable cost. With more than 10 million smartphones now in circulation in the UK, this will be welcome news to gadget lovers."



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