Another swing at global roaming charges was landed in the European Union today. According to the EU law, prices for using mobile phones abroad will be lowered again after being lowered at the same time last year.
The new rate for calls will drop down to 24ct/min, with 45ct/MB for internet access. By next year, the rates will fall to 19ct/min for calls and 20ct/MB for internet access. In addition, users will be allowed to manually choose a different operator via their device for roaming from next year on, which is great news and should encourage more competition in the region. In fact, most operators are already starting to offer roaming packages for travelers due to the new law’s impending implementation.
This new law comes after pressure from the citizen-led Europeans for Fair Roaming campaign, which includes support from TruTower, along with 19 other associations, 14 Members of the European Parliament and over 150,000 people. This campaign has helped to cut data roaming cost reductions in half compared to the original EU proposals.
“Since 2010, we managed to show European politicians that mobile phone users demand an end to unfair roaming prices,” said campaign coordinator Bengt Beier. “And the EU listened to our concerns. The EU Commission originally proposed prices of 50ct per MB in 2014. Together with the European Parliament, we managed to get them down to 20ct per MB! This shows that determined citizens can really have a strong influence on European politics.”
This news comes on the heels of news that EU politicians want roaming charges abolished in Europe, though we highly doubt this will happen for some time. Still, with steps like these being made every year, we could very well see roaming charges go the way of the dinosaur in the future.