Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

End of 'roaming rip-off': cost of texting, calling, surfing the web abroad to plummet from today thanks to EU action

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As of today, sending a text message from abroad in the EU costs a maximum €0.11, almost three times cheaper than the previous EU average of €0.28 (excl. VAT). To make a roamed call in another EU country must not cost more than €0.43 per minute, and no more than €0.19 to receive a call. From today, outgoing roaming calls will be charged by the second, after the first 30 seconds, rather than by the minute, and incoming calls will be charged by the second from the first second.
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Holidaymakers and business travellers can also surf the web, download movies or send photos with their mobile without fear of ‘bill shocks’ while roaming thanks to a wholesale cap of € 1 per megabyte (MB) downloaded. All these measures are expected to cut roaming charges for EU consumers by a further 60% and increase mobile phone use. The EU first acted on roaming in 2007 reducing the cost of voice roaming calls by 70%.

"From today, all Europeans making calls or sending texts with their mobiles can experience the EU's single market without borders. The roaming-rip off is now coming to an end thanks to the determined action of the European Commission, the European Parliament and all 27 EU Member States,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. “I expect the new EU roaming rules to make it much cheaper to surf the web on your mobile while abroad in the EU. For now, EU rules are limited to reducing inter-operator charges. I call on the mobile industry to pass these savings on to data roaming customers swiftly. The Commission and national regulators will monitor data roaming charges very carefully and assess next year whether the roaming market is finally becoming competitive."

Full text of this press release

Commissioner Reding's video message

EU Roaming website: Cheaper texting in Europe

Public consultation on roaming from 2008

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