Europe cuts costs of SMS, data roaming charges

European consumers will see the cost of sending a text message or downloading data while overseas slashed by mid-summer.

The European Parliament on Wednesday voted to impose caps on retail SMS tariffs (excluding VAT) and wholesale data roaming charges, in the wake of proposals by the European Commission in September 2008.

As of July 1, a text message sent from abroad in the EU will cost no more than €0.11 instead of €0.28 today, and the wholesale price of data will be capped at Eur1 per MB, compared to an average wholesale price of €r1.68 per MB. The wholesale cap will fall to €0.80 in 2010 and to €0.50 in 2011.

In more good news for EU consumers, Parliament also voted for further cuts in the price of mobile phone calls while roaming in another EU country. The present cap for a mobile phone call made abroad will progressively drop from €0.46 to €r0.35 per minute by July 2011, and from €0.22 today to Eur0.11 for mobile calls received while roaming abroad.

Mobile operators will also be required to bill roaming calls by the second from the 31st second of the call at the latest, which will end the current practice under which consumers are overcharged by up to 24 per cent, the authority said. As a result of these actions, European consumers are expected to save up to 60 per cent on their bill for using a mobile phone abroad in the EU.

“Today’s vote marks the definite end of the roaming rip off in Europe,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. “Thanks to the strong support of the European Parliament and the Council, the new roaming rules were agreed in the record time of just 7 months. Just in time for the summer holidays, European citizens will now be able to see the single market without borders on their phone bills.”

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  1. Pingback: Nouvelles mesures pour les opérateurs mobiles … | Communiqués de presse de Trustive

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