The 2007 EU Roaming Regulation (MEMO/07/251, IP/07/1202) introduced wholesale and retail price caps for roaming charges and included measures to increase transparency. In 2009, the EU amended the Roaming Regulation to lower the prices of voice, text messages and data services further. The amendment introduced a "Euro-SMS tariff" limiting the price of an SMS to Euro 0.11 (GBP0.09, excluding VAT) and, for data, a wholesale cap per MegaByte uploaded or downloaded (at the level Euro 0.80 (GBP0.67) as of 1 July 2010).
Also from 1st July 2010, travellers' data-roaming bill is automatically limited to Euro 50 (GBP42) per month excluding VAT (unless they have chosen another limit - higher or lower). Operators have to send users a warning when they reach 80% of their data-roaming bill limit. The operator has to cut off the mobile internet connection once the limit has been reached, unless the customer has indicated they want to continue data roaming that particular month.
Since 1st July 2010, the price cap for making a roaming voice calls is Euro 0.39 (GBP0.33) per minute (excluding VAT), while receiving a roaming call costs a maximum of Euro 0.15 (GBP0.13) per minute (excluding VAT).The 2009 Roaming Regulation is valid until 30 June 2012.
In a June 2010 interim report (see IP/10/851), the Commission noted that although legislation has led to lower roaming prices, this market is not yet strong enough to provide the best choice and even better prices to consumers. Retail prices tend to cluster around the EU regulated maximum price caps and the Commission considers that EU rules give operators plenty of margin to offer more attractive roaming tariffs below the regulatory limit. In the second quarter of 2010, the EU legal maximum for roamed voice calls was Euro 0.43 (GBP0.36) per minute, and consumers who chose the "Euro- tariff" paid on average Euro 0.38 (GBP0.32) per minute for making a roaming phone call. Euro-tariff consumers also paid on average Euro 0.16 (GBP0.13) per minute for calls received while roaming, slightly below the legal cap of Euro 0.19 (GBP0.16).
The Commission must complete the review of EU roaming rules and report to the European Parliament and Council by 30 June 2011.
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Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.