Good news, Europe! Mobile data roaming charges will be abolished from June 2017.
After two years of intense negotiations, which included many U-turns and delays, the ban finally passed at the European Parliament yesterday (Oct. 27). Mobile phone companies will no longer be allowed to charge customers extra for using their phone in countries across the EU.
Telecom providers can now levy a charge up €0.19 ($0.21) for outgoing voice calls, but an interim cap on charges will come into effect from April 30 next year. Extra charges will be removed altogether by 2017 following an overhaul of EU telecoms rules in 2016.
The European Commission says the new rules will finally bring an end to “huge telephone bills ruining your holiday budget.”
|Type of charge||July 2014||April 2016||June 2017|
|Outgoing voice calls (per minute)||€0.19||€0.05||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
|Incoming voice calls (per minute)||€0.05||To be confirmed||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
|Outgoing texts (per SMS message)||€0.06||€0.02||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
|Online (data download, per MB)||€0.20||€0.05||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
Americans visiting Europe won’t be so fortunate, as providers such as AT&T will continue charging around $30 for 120 megabytes of international data use. And Europeans traveling outside of Europe still need to be careful with roaming charges. Here’s a helpful guide to using your phone abroad without getting ripped off.