More transparency and cheaper roaming prices for EU citizens
The EU Roaming regulation was adopted in 2007 and introduced caps on roaming prices ("Eurotariff") and imposed certain information obligations on operators, ensuring that mobile phone subscribers pay affordable and transparent roaming prices when they are travelling across the EU. The Eurotariff set maximum prices for phone calls made and received while abroad. These maximum prices apply to all consumers unless they opted for special packages offered by operators. In July 2009, revised rules were adopted that cut voice calls roaming prices further and introduced new caps on SMS tariffs ("Euro SMS tariff"). In addition, as of 1 July 2010, consumers are protected by an automatic safeguard against data roaming bill shocks. The new roaming regulation will apply from July 2012.
Main provisions of the current Roaming regulation:
- Eurotariffs introduced: from 1st of July 2012, making a call cannot cost more than 29 cents and receiving a call cannot cost more than 8 cents (excluding VAT).
- Euro-SMS tariff introduced: from 1 July 2012, sending an SMS from abroad costs no more than 9 cents (excluding VAT). Receiving an SMS in another EU country will remain free of charge.
- Euro-data tariff introduced: from 1 July 2012, using mobile internet costs no more than 70 cents per MegaByte (excluding VAT).
- Wholesale charges capped: prices that operators charge each other (wholesale charges) are also capped.
- More transparency of roaming charges for consumers: customers receive an SMS, pop-up window, etc when they are crossing borders within the EU and outside the EU to inform them of the price they are expected to pay for making and receiving calls or for using mobile internet.
- Measures to counter data roaming bill shocks: as of 1 July 2012, travellers' data-roaming limit will be automatically set at 50€ also when they travel outside the EU (unless they have chosen another limit – higher or lower).
Eurotariff maximum roaming charge per minute in Euros (without VAT)
*The tariff is in cents per Megabyte to download data or browse the Internet whilst travelling abroad (charged per Kilobyte used).
These price caps are the maximum permissible prices. Operators are free to offer cheaper rates: be on the lookout for better deals!