New lower mobile roaming rates for Europe came into force this month (July 2011) .
European Union (EU) rules set a maximum rate that customers can be charged to make and receive calls on mobile phones – and that cap has been reduced for calls (not texts)
Making calls within the EU will cost no more than 42c per minute (€0.35 ex vat – down from €0.39.)
The maximum charge to recieve a call on a mobile from another EU country is now €0.13 per minute (11c per min ex vat down from €0.15 per minute)
The maximum price of sending a text stays the same at €0.13 ( 11c plus VAT) . Mobile phone companies cannot charge cutomers to to receive standard texts.
Downloading data on your mobile phone when roaming in the EU can cost over €2 per megabyte . This is as much as 50 times more than some data charges when at home.
Many mobile and smartphone users have been caught out by large mobile internet charges. Last year the EU Parliament introduced an automatic limit of €50 per month (ex vat) on data roaming prices.
Mobile operators have to send users a warning when they reach 80% of their data-roaming limit and the operator has to cut off the mobile internet connection once the limit has been reached, unless the customer has indicated they want to continue data roaming that particular month.
The EU Commission is proposing that by July 2014, retail roaming caps before VAT would reach :
50 cents per megabyte of data ; 24 cents per minute for a call made ; 10 cents per minute for calls received and 10 cents for a text.
Tips to cut down data usage :
Turn off apps that use the internet to update your information automatically – such as those that keep track of your location and post it to Facebook.
Try and use free Wi-Fi where possible and turn off data roaming on Iphones , Ipads and other Smartphones
If you are planning to travel outside of Europe – check roaming prices before you go, as they can be much higher.
If you’re going outside of the EU it might also be a good idea to switch off you voicemail before you leave, as you could be charged when someone leaves a message on your voicemail (as well as when you pick the message up).