Although the new lower EU roaming rates have come into effect on July 1, they are still substantially higher than domestic tariffs that consumers are accustomed to paying; the difference can still be quite substantial.
For those who were not aware, the new roaming rates are as follows:
- Downloading data or browsing the Internet – 45 cents / Megabyte (MB) (charged per Kilobyte used) + VAT. (36% reduction compared to 2012)
- Making calls – 24 cents / minute + VAT (17% reduction compared to 2012)
- Receiving a call – 7 cents / minute + VAT (12.5% reduction compared to 2012)
- Sending a text message – 8 cents + VAT (11% reduction compared to 2012)
Even with these new rates, though, customers could still wind up with extremely high roaming bills. Specialist roaming provider WorldSIM says that consumers should be expected to pay rates “very similar to what they are paying at home” and we happen to agree.
It’s not just customers in the EU who benefit by going with a global carrier though. In fact, customers of global SIM card providers benefit now more than ever before. It’s no secret that in order to cushion the blow of roaming reductions in the EU, many of the large mobile network operators will increase roaming prices outside of the European Union to new heights, which can make normal phone usage on a vacation run up a bill that is higher than the vacation itself.
In addition, there’s going to be another reduction next year with an eventual complete drop in roaming for the European Union. While this will increase prices worldwide as a result, it’s possible we could see reductions like this in other regions further down the road. We can only hope.