Last week, the EU Commission’s VP Neelie Kroes promised charges for using your mobile whilst abroad (or “roaming”) will become significantly cheaper. Today the promise has been delivered with substantial cuts across the member states.
This will be a day of celebration for anyone who has ever been hit with expensive charges when away from home; whether on work, holiday, or calling friends/family living away.
Although prices are nowhere near the levels of my teen years (I’ll never forget that £80 statement!) the reductions are pretty significant; with call charges down “at least” 17 percent, and receiving calls dropped 12 percent from today.
For those who prefer to text or use data; SMS messages are down 11 percent, whilst data charges have had the most welcome cut with a 36 percent slashing.
To put in perspective – data is now capped at 45 Cents per MB, 91 percent cheaper than back in 2007. Had this been in place then; I would have been an £72 better off teenager.
Yet Neelie and the rest of the EU Commission isn’t stopping there –
This time next year more cuts are expected, whilst less extravagant in terms of voice calls and SMS; Data is expected to drop over half again (down to 20 cents per MB.)
On further cuts, Neelie spoke on her Twitter: “Those of you who feel roaming rates still too high: I agree. Full change only possible with more competition and fewer borders. #singlemarket”
A single telecoms market is the Commissioner’s biggest current drive; hoping for a less fragmented regulatory environment to help drive investment and innovation.
This push is closely followed by her call for a complete abolishment of mobile roaming fees in 2014.
What do you think about the EU roaming cuts and Neelie Kroes’ push for a single telecoms market?