Roaming rates lowered further for citizens of EU

The Council and the European Parliament have paved the way for the adoption of the draft regulation on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the EU.

From July 2012, using mobile phone services while travelling in the EU will be cheaper. And from July 2014 users will be able to choose an operator for roaming services, separately from their contract with the national mobile operator, while keeping the same telephone number.

The Council, represented by the Danish Presidency, and the European Parliament agreed on 28 March on a new roaming regulation, which includes upper price limits for phone calls, SMS and data and introduces more competition by facilitating access to the wholesale market for alternative operators willing to provide roaming services.

From July 2012, phone calls made while abroad (within the EU) will cost a maximum of 29 euro cents per minute, from July 2013 – 24 euro cents and from July 2014 – 19 euro cents. The cost of sending SMS and downloading data will also be gradually reduced, to 6 euro cents per SMS and 20 euro cents per megabyte from July 2014.

In addition, the regulation aims to increase price transparency and improve information about charges for customers who use roaming services.

To enter into force, the text still needs to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and then by the Council; this is expected to be done by the end of June this year.

Press release (with a table of the roaming price caps)