At the beginning of June, we reported that roaming between the EU nations would be dropping on July 1. Well, today’s the day. From right now, anyone traveling within the European Union countries — whether they’re using a global network or not — will see their smartphone usage costs decline substantially.
In case you missed it the first time around, the new prices caps that enter into force starting today are:
- 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)
This results in data roaming costs that are up to 91 percent cheaper in 2013 when compared to 2007, during which time the EU has lowered the entire usage spectrum (calls, SMS, and data) by 80 percent. Also during this period, the volume of the data roaming market has grown 630%. These two trends mean both consumers and mobile operators have significant new opportunities thanks to EU efforts.
The new roaming fees are up to 91 percent cheaper in 2013 when compared to fees in 2007
This new pricing will also take effect in Croatia, which joins the list of European Union countries as of today as well, resulting in data roaming rates that are 15 times cheaper, with calls and texts 10 times cheaper.
“The EU has to be relevant to people’s lives,” said EU Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes. “The latest price cuts put more money in your pocket for summer, and are a critical step towards getting rid of these premiums once and for all. This is good for both consumers and companies, because it takes fear out of the market, and it grows the market.”
We’ll also be seeing price reductions by next year as well, the biggest of which being an additional drop of data costs from 45 cents (starting today, excluding VAT) to 20 cents (excluding VAT), though the EU does want to see international roaming go the way of the dinosaur eventually.