Business

Mobile phone roaming caps coming into force

  • 30 June 2013
  • From the section Business

The cost of using a mobile phone in another European Union country will fall again on Monday.

New EU limits come into force which will reduce the amount mobile phone providers can charge for making or receiving calls abroad.

It will also bring down the cost of accessing the internet.

For the past six years the EU has been forcing prices down by placing a cap on the charges providers can impose and reducing that limit each year.

Data rates

The cost of making mobile phone calls outside a person's own country, known as roaming, has traditionally been very high.

The latest cuts come into force on Monday, when the maximum cost of making a call will fall by a fifth to 24 euro cents a minute or just over 20p, plus the VAT rate applicable in the relevant EU country.

But the biggest change is to data charges - the cost of using the internet or applications linked to it.

That will fall by roughly a third to 45 euro cents per megabyte or about 38.5p, plus VAT.

However, these reductions will only apply within the borders of the European Union.

In other countries charges both for making calls and for using the internet are likely to remain higher.

Because Croatia joins EU on Monday, the same day as the price caps are introduced, the difference is most stark there.

Last year, the European Parliament passed regulations to make using a mobile phone abroad significantly cheaper.

The EU said the regulations were designed to prevent "bill shock".

This is the moment when travellers discover they have have run up huge bills after making calls and using data applications, such as maps, while away.

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