It's a big summer sale courtesy of the European Commission! From 1 July 2014, the EU will cut the price caps for data downloads by more than half: down from 45 cents per megabyte to 20c/MB. It will become even cheaper to use maps, watch videos, check mails and update social networks while travelling across the EU.
To put it into context: football fans traveling in the EU during this World Cup season will pay 25 times less for data roaming as compared to during 2010 World Cup!
Since the EU introduced caps on data roaming, data consumption has risen dramatically.
Phone calls and text messages will become cheaper as well. All this is good news, as you
can travel around Europe and stay in touch with family and friends at home.
Type of mobile activity in the EU
2013 caps (before VAT)
2014 caps (before VAT)
Making a call
24 cents per min
19 cents per min
Receiving a call
7 cents per min
5 cents per min
Sending a text message
Downloading data / browsing
45 cents per MB
20 cents per MB
What's more, from 1 July 2014 mobile providers in Europe can offer you a specific roaming deal before you travel and, where available, allow you to choose a local mobile provider for data services such as emailing, reading the news online, uploading photos and watching videos online, in the country you are visiting. So you can compare roaming offers, and benefit from more attractive offers and prices while you're away!
But that's not the end of the story: the EU is working on new rules to eliminate roaming charges altogether. The Commission's Connected Continent regulation would see the end of roaming charges, as well as a guaranteed open and neutral internet, and better consumer protection for mobile and broadband users.
Vice President of the European Commission, @NeelieKroesEU, responsible for the Digital Agenda said: "This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer. But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed – the Parliament has done their part, now it is up to Member States to seal the deal!"
Roaming charges were at their peak years ago when EU started to take action in 2007. The results are a 80-90% drop across roaming services in 2014 compared to 2007.