From the 1 July new EU rules on maximum charges for mobile data roaming from 1 July, will mean that summer holidaymakers who like to use their mobile phones and tablets abroad will mean fewer tourists getting a nasty shock from their post-holiday phone bills.
From 1 July 2013, the European Union’s Roaming Regulation will lower the price caps for data downloads by 36 per cent, making it much cheaper to use maps, watch videos, check emails and update social networks while travelling across Europe.
Data roaming will now be up to 91% cheaper in 2013 compared with 2007. During this period the volume of the data roaming market has grown by a massive 630%. These two trends mean that both consumers and mobile operators have significant new opportunities thanks to the European Commission and British Conservative MEPs who have backed the reforms.
Operators are free to offer cheaper rates, and some have already begun to remove roaming premiums altogether for voice and SMS, or to offer a roaming-free areas across parts of Europe.
Not all EU legislation is intrusive or unhelpful. This will be of real practical assistance to consumers, particularly those who may only travel abroad once a year for their holidays.
It should also help small business who want to seek new markets on the continent.
Too often people come home to an unwelcome “Bill Shock” from their monthly mobile device invoice. This cap on the amount mobile operators can charge for roaming data we should stop this kind of thing spoiling the end of their holidays.
We would have preferred not to legislate and to let the mobile companies trim rates voluntarily. Sadly this was not happening quickly enough and we had to step in on behalf of the consumer.