Telefónica offers EU-wide data roaming for €2 a day

Telefónica has announced a pan-European data roaming tariff, which it claims is “up to ten times cheaper” than the new price caps approved by the European Parliament this week.

Customers of the firm’s Movistar and O2 networks will be able to use up to 25MB of data each day, anywhere across the 27 European Union member states, for just €2 per day.

“Our European data tariff gives our smartphone customers great value while allowing them to do what really matters – to stay connected wherever they are in a simple and transparent way and with complete peace of mind,”said José María Álvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO at Telefónica Europe.

The European Union approved legislation earlier this week, ruling that as of 1 July 2012, 1MB data usage should cost no more than 70 Cents – working out at €17.50 for the 25MB Telefónica is offering for just €2. In the EU markets Telefónica does not have its own network, the operator said it is absorbing the cost of connecting with foreign operators.

“This is the exact type of thing that the Commission would have hoped to see happen,” said Matthew Howett, lead analyst at Ovum. “The idea of the regulation isn’t to necessarily decide what the optimum rate for roaming should be but rather prompt operators to come up with new and innovative tariffs.”

He added that, until now, operators have all offered tariffs at or around the cap specified by the EU Parliament, and there has not been evidence of very much innovation or movement below them.

“So this is certainly a welcome move in that direction and it is something which we are likely to see other operators follow.”

Customers will only pay for the days that they choose to use data and customers who exceed the 25 MB limit will be immediately notified. The Pan-European tariff is being launched first in Germany in May and will be available this summer to O2 and Movistar customers in Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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