EU Laws To Cut Roaming Costs By July 2009

The European Union will cap the price of interrnational roaming chargers for mobile phones to 0.14 Euros across all 27 member-states of the Union starting from 1st July 2009 although that is subject to intra-state negotiations.

The changes, which are set to become law, were brought forth not only to protect European customers but also to speed up the adoption of data roaming services across Europe.

EU Telecom ministers backed, although not unanimously, the proposal by EU Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding which also wants to set caps on data transfers which are currently unregulated.

Inter-operators roaming fees will be fixed at one Euro per MB with a data usage limit for users of 50MB, possibly with alerts over the possible exorbitant fees that they could incur should they ignore the limit.

Text roaming prices are also set to go down substantially, from the current 0.29 Euros to 0.11 Euros plus VAT.

Amongst other agreements reached during the meeting yesterday, Friday 28th, are plans to facilitate the migration of consumers who want to switch telecoms providers; the idea of an European super regulator has also been rejected.

However, it is likely that telecommunication groups will retaliate to the EU decisions by raising prices on other services to recoup lost profits, which will leave the consumers short-changed.

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