The maximum price that providers can charge drops from 37 pence (45 euro cents) per megabyte to 17 pence (20 euro cents). This comes in the wake of another big drop (by 36%) in 2013. Phone calls and text messages become cheaper as well (see table 1).
Operators are free to offer cheaper rates, and some have in the past begun to remove roaming premiums altogether for voice and text messages, or to offer a roaming-free area region across one section of Europe or another.
In another innovation that kicks off this summer, mobile providers in Europe should allow their customers to choose a roaming deal from an alternative provider for the duration of their trip abroad or choose a local mobile provider for data services such as emailing, reading the news online, uploading photos and watching videos online in the country that they are visiting.
The EU has achieved retail price reductions of more than 80% since 2007, while ensuring the market for roaming has grown by 630% during this time. But with the Connected Continent package the Commission is now working on new rules to eliminate roaming charges altogether.
Vice President of the European Commission, @NeelieKroesEU, responsible for the Digital Agenda said: "This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer. But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed – the Parliament has done their part, now it is up to Member States to seal the deal!"