Following years of negotiations MEP’s have agreed to abolish the data roaming charges across EU member countries. The ban on these extra charges for calls, texts and data usage when traveling in the EU will come into effect on 15 June 2017. Prior to this there will be an interim cap on coming charges from 30th April 2016.
During this period telecoms operators will be able to add a surcharge of no more than:
€0.05 (3.5p) extra per minute for calls
€0.02 extra per SMS sent
€0.05 extra per megabyte of data used
This cap will reduce the overall cost of coming charges by 75% during this period and will help reduce the change of shock bills some consumers face when returning from their european holidays following a number of cases of users being caught out by bills of hundred or even thousands of pounds.
There has been some resistance to these plans with critics suggesting that the lost revenue from mobile phone operators will result in an increase in pricing for all other users including those that don’t travel. The changes have been part of lengthy discussions between the mobile operators and EU officials as part of wider proposals for managing internet traffic.
The changes are also expected to have some political significance as the proposals could be used as support for continues EU membership with the UK government.