Huge cuts in mobile data roaming price caps in the EU
As of yesterday roaming charges are down 50% from last summer
The European Union has cut the price caps for data downloads by more than half, meaning that it will become even cheaper to use maps, watch videos, check emails and update social networks while travelling across the EU, according to a statement from the European Commission.
As of yesterday, 1 July 2014, phone calls and text messages are also cheaper, making a call has decreased by 21%; receiving a call has decreased by 28.5%; sending a text message is down by 25% and downloading data/browsing has decreased by 55.5%.
During this World Cup season, people travelling in the EU will pay 25 times less for data roaming as compared to during the World Cup in 2010.
Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes EU, responsible for the Digital Agenda said: "This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer. But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed - the Parliament has done their part, now it is up to Member States to seal the deal!"
Her comments came at a commission press briefing ahead of yesterday's planned reduction in roaming fees.
The EU is working on new rules to eliminate roaming charges altogether. It said in the statement that the Commission's Connected Continent regulation would see the end of roaming charges, as well as a guaranteed open and neutral internet, and better consumer protection for mobile and broadband users.
It was also announced that mobile providers in Europe can now offer specific roaming deals before users travel and can allow users to choose a local mobile provider for data services such as emailing, reading the news online, uploading photos and watching videos online, in the country they are visiting.
Kroes praised the "annual effort by the EU to deliver a better deal for consumers", highlighting that, "In the US they offer free roaming to over 100 countries, including the EU, but European consumers do not enjoy the same support."
"People around the world are looking to the EU to deliver common sense," she added.