Digital Agenda: New price caps for mobile data roaming expected to save families over €200 each year and business travellers over €1000.

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From 1 July 2012, the European Union’s mobile roaming regulation will be extended to include price caps for data downloads which will mean significant savings for those using maps, email and social networks when travelling. For a typical businessperson travelling in the EU this will mean savings of over €1000 per year. A family taking an annual holiday in another EU country can expect to save at least €200. (Full details of these data roaming case studies are in Annex II).

Overall, the improved EU roaming regulation – taking into account calls, SMS and data – will deliver consumers savings of 75% across a range of mobile roaming services, compared to 2007 prices. This year Europeans will spend around €5 billion on roaming services, a saving of around €15 billion compared to what the same services would have cost under 2007 prices.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “By putting price caps on data we have created a roaming market for the smart phone generation. More than that, we have ended the rip-offs familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone while travelling abroad. I am pleased that year after year the European Union is putting money back in the pockets of citizens.”

“From 2014 we are also delivering a permanent solution to the roaming issue, something better than any price cap. We are bringing full competition to this market by making it easy to choose a separate roaming provider. If you can find a better offer compared to your standard contract you’ll be able to do it in a few simple swipes, just like when you choose a wifi network.”
In recent years consumers have benefitted from EU action to create a strong safety net of price caps and guarantees against “bill shocks”, and more competition which drives the market to further cut prices. The latest Commission proposals have also moved from draft to implementation in record time of less than one year. Here to read more.

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