Cheaper mobile roaming charge in effect from tomorrow

An interim cap of data roaming charges comes in from tomorrow.
An interim cap of data roaming charges comes in from tomorrow.
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Mobile roaming charges within the EU will be significantly cheaper from tomorrow when an interim cap comes into effect ahead of a full ban next year.

The cap will make roaming within the EU 75% cheaper during the interim period, the European Commission has said.

From Saturday, operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic prices of up to 3p per minute of call made, 1p per text sent, and 3p per MB of data, excluding VAT.

The charges will end altogether on June 15 next year, meaning mobile phone users will pay the same price to make calls, send text messages and use data wherever they are in the EU, as if they were at home.

The new rules aim to prevent consumers receiving huge bills after downloading films or other data while travelling in Europe.

European Commission vice president Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, said the move was "not only about money, this is about bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market".

Consumers have been especially vulnerable to roaming charges since the smartphone market exploded and mobile data consumption soared.

According to research by comparison website uSwitch, more than nine million UK mobile users a year are affected by so-called "bill shock" after holidaying in the EU.