Digital Agenda: Wave goodbye to mobile internet rip-offs from 1 July; voice and SMS prices to fall also

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From 1 July 2012, using mobile internet to access maps, videos, photos, social networks and email will be much cheaper while travelling in other EU member states. A new EU regulation means that, for the first time, there will be a maximum charge for “data roaming” – downloading data from the internet when using a mobile connection. The data roaming rules will mean savings of over €1000 per year for a typical businessperson travelling in the EU. 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). The new rules will also cut the maximum prices for voice calls and texts.

Overall, the improved EU roaming regulation – taking into account calls, text messages 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 prices before the first EU roaming regulation became law in 2007.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “Price caps on data mean we have roaming for the smart phone generation. This ends the roaming rip-offs once and for all in the EU. I am delighted that year after year the European Union is putting money back in the pockets of citizens.” Here to read more.

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