Price caps on roaming charges to come into effect in July.
EU plans to cut the cost of roaming mobile phone charges are going ahead. From July, the cost of using data services on smartphones will cost a maximum of €0.70 (58p) a megabyte.
The EU is also lowering the price cap on voice calls, which will fall from €0.35 (29p) to €0.29 (24p) in July and to €0.19 (0.16) in 2014. Text messages will be cheaper too, falling from €0.11 (9p) to €0.06 (5p).
In addition, by 2014 people will be able to sign-up for carriers in different countries, but retain the same number across them all.
The EU set price caps on roaming charges five years ago, but this legislation is set to expire in June. Because of this, and the rise of smartphones, , the EU member nations have been looking closely at roaming charges, particularly the cost of data usage, to see if they are reasonable.
Some mobile networks have fought against the regulation, claiming that the loss of revenue from roaming charges will increase the cost of other services.
Everything Everywhere, the company that manages the Orange and T-Mobile networks in the UK said: “We are disappointed... we feel competition, not the continued use of price caps, is the most effective way to bring down, and keep down, international roaming pricing.
“Data roaming prices have dropped by 78% over the last three years, and this was achieved without a regulatory framework in place.”
Neelie Kroes, the EU commissioner for the Digital Agenda, said: “Consumers are fed up with being ripped off by high roaming charges.
“The new roaming deal gives us a long-term structural solution, with lower prices, more choice and a new smart approach for data and internet browsing. The benefits will be felt in time for the summer break, and by summer 2014, people can shop around for the best deal.”