New deal to cut mobile roaming prices

Published 28-09-2012
The cost of using mobile phones, smartphones and tablets when travelling abroad within the EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will fall sharply, following the incorporation into the EEA Agreement of the regulation on roaming on public communications networks on 28 September 2012.

The EU’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.

Alerts in the EU to prevent "bill shocks" will be extended to also cover people travelling outside Europe. People will receive a warning message when they approach €50 of charges in a month (excluding VAT), if the foreign network is compatible.

Boosting competition on the roaming market
The regulation also proposes for the first time measures to boost competition. From 1 July 2014, customers will be able to buy their domestic and roaming services separately, from different operators, if they so wish, whilst keeping the same phone number. They will not be charged for switching providers and their home country provider will be obliged to inform them of this right.

National implementation
The EEA Joint Committee Decision of 28 September needs to be ratified by the Liechtenstein before it can enter into force. Following this, national laws or regulations that implement the EU regulation must also be in place in order for the provisions to take effect. Because of this, business and citizens in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway may have to wait some months before taking advantage of the new roaming regulation.

More information
New price caps for mobile data roaming

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