The EU has voted for new regulation on call prices and data roaming fees which will impact all UK mobile phone users.
From July 2012, mobile networks will be able to charge a maximum of 0.70 Euros per Megabyte, or 56p. A ‘cut-off’ cap will also be introduced, stopping you paying more than £40 for mobile data, unless you’ve told your network otherwise. There is currently no limit on the amount of money networks can charge for data use. In 2009, some operators were charging £3 per megabyte, for example.
The cost of calls will be capped too – dropping annually each July until 2014. From July 2012, outgoing calls will be capped at 23p per minute and 0.06p per minute for incoming calls.
The European Commission has said that it expects a family of four to save £160 per year after the changes and Moneysavingexpert has profiled the caps below…
- Calls: ¬0.29 per minute from July 2012, ¬0.24 from July 2013 and ¬0.19 from July 2014. Currently ¬0.35.
- Calls: ¬0.08 from July 2012, ¬0.07 from July 2013 and ¬0.05 from July 2014. Currently ¬0.11.
- Texts: ¬0.09 from July 2012, ¬0.08 from July 2013 and ¬0.06 from July 2014. Currently ¬0.11.
- Data: ¬0.70 per megabyte from July 2012, ¬0.45 from July 2013 and ¬0.20 from July 2014. No limit at present.
“The vote in the European Parliament should act as a wake-up call to the rest of the industry – and the world – that roaming charges are currently too high and that subscribers have a right to be protected from bill shock. But while this legislation is great news, there’s still some way to go. These rules will only apply to EU citizens roaming within Europe, so if you’re traveling further afield you could still be stung with inflated roaming charges,” said John Assiter of SIM card provider GOSIM.com.
“But the real issue lies in the prices mobile operators are charging their subscribers for roaming. Savvy mobile phone users are already looking at their options and choosing to use an international service that will offer significant cost savings on data and phone charges while abroad, compared to domestic providers. This is going to be particularly important if traveling beyond the EU where there is currently little bill shock protection and prices are higher.”