More EU citizens are using their mobiles whilst travelling in the EU than four years ago, when the EU first introduced roaming rules. Despite an estimated 13 per cent fall in travel between 2006 and 2010, the overall volume of calls received and SMS sent while abroad in the EU has grown during that period. Travellers report making 32 per cent more calls, receiving 31 per cent more calls and texting 43 per cent more since 2006.
The survey also shows different habits across the European population.
- men are more likely to make voice calls while women prefer to send text messages;
- 88% of Cypriots mostly use voice services but only 44% of British travellers;
- 81% of Irish mobile users roaming in the EU favour text messages whilst only 24% of Portuguese do;
- 32% of Bulgarians do not use their mobile phones abroad at all;
- young people are now significantly more likely to use roaming services compared to 2006 figures (making voice calls: +43%; receiving calls: +42% and sending text messages: +51%).
- 30% of retired people and 15% of 25-39 year olds do not use their mobile phones abroad at all.
The special Eurobarometer survey on roaming questioned over 26,500 people in August and September 2010 in the 27 EU Member States. The primary sample analysed being those EU citizens who have a mobile phone and have travelled within the last 5 years in the EU.
Caps on roaming prices were first introduced in 2007 (IP/07/870), ensuring that mobile phone users pay similar roaming tariffs across the EU. In July 2009, revised rules were adopted that cut roaming prices further so that by July 2011 the maximum roaming charges would, as default, be 35 cents per minute (30 pence) for calls made and 11 cents (9 pence) for calls received while abroad (see IP/09/1064 and MEMO/09/309).
From 1 July 2010 travellers' data-roaming limit was automatically set at 50 euro (GBP: 43) excluding VAT (unless they had chosen another limit - higher or lower) and operators had to send users a warning when they reached 80 per cent of their data-roaming bill limit (IP/10/843). The 2009 roaming rules will apply until the end of June 2012.
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Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only