This weekend saw the arrival of Viviane Reding’s much-vaunted Eurotariff. The European Commissioner for Information Society and Media has been aggressively pushing for a “fairer” deal on roaming for subscribers who travel across borders.

Sunday was the official deadline for European carriers to introduce tariffs no higher than 49 eurocents per minute for calls made abroad and no higher than 24 eurocents for calls received abroad, excluding VAT.

The Commission reckons EU consumers who have signed up to schemes launched prior to the deadline have been paying up to 70 per cent less for using their mobile phone in Europe.

The September 30 deadline was for all mobile operators to switch over all of their customers to the Eurotariff, if they have not done so already or if they do not have a pre-existing roaming package.

Some pre-existing roaming packages are not as beneficial as the new Eurotariff. However, there is no obligation to switch subscribers in these instances. There is, however, an obligation on carriers to inform their subscribers of the existence of the new catch-all tariff.

From Sunday all mobile subscribers should receive price information every time they cross an EU border. This obligation for more transparency should help users keep tabs on the cost of using their phone abroad. It also means that it will be easier for customers to shop around for cheaper deals, an important element for increasing competition and for keeping prices low.

Further details on the Europe-wide compliance of the EU roaming regulation will be announced at a press conference of Commissioner Reding, and a technical briefing in Brussels on October 4. The EU roaming regulation became law on June 30.