Roaming charges across the European Union are being capped starting with April 30, 2016.
Thanks to the new roaming rules, the cost of making and receiving calls when abroad in the EU is now substantially cheaper than in 2007, when the EU first started to tackle excessive roaming charges.
From June 2017, roaming charges in the EU will be abolished completely.
Consumers pay roaming charges whenever they connect to an operator based abroad. The charges are in addition to the cost of the call itself, and for short calls they can make up a large proportion of the overall fee.
The biggest reductions will be for people downloading data – such as emails, pictures or social media – where the roaming charge will be cut by about 75%.
Charges for outgoing phone calls will be cut by a similar amount. The charge for texting will be reduced by about 66%.
From April 30, 2016, onwards, the roaming fee equal to domestic price + €0.05 may not exceed €0.19 for voice and €0.20 for data. The roaming fee equal to domestic price + €0.02 may not exceed €0.06 for SMS.
These price caps are the maximum permissible prices. Operators are free to offer cheaper rates, so be on the lookout for better deals.
Member States’ national telecoms regulators must ensure that mobile phone operators comply with the new rules on data roaming and the lower prices of voice calls. Consumers can contact the national regulator in the Member State where their mobile operator is based if they have any problems or questions about the new limits.