From this weekend British consumers are better off in Europe as mobile phone roaming charges across the EU are slashed to nearly zero, in preparation for full abolition next year.
The changes come after strong UK leadership inside the European Union, which delivered a better deal for consumers – who will save up to 65 per cent on their calls from today.
From June 2017 all roaming charges across the EU will be abolished, after the UK led the charge in securing agreement across Europe as part of the single market in telecoms.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
From today, UK consumers who use their mobiles while in the EU will see their bills slashed further. If you are making a phone call in Paris or Barcelona, from today you are quite literally better off inside the European Union – because strong UK leadership secured a better deal for consumers.
And from next year, roaming charges will be abolished entirely. The truth is: if you want the certainty of lower phone charges across Europe, along with economic security more broadly, you are better off in a reformed EU.
The changes will see the current price capping for roaming within the EU replaced by a maximum surcharge for roaming services, which may be charged in addition to domestic charges.
From today, the maximum surcharge for outgoing calls will be no more than €0.05 (about 4p) per minute, incoming calls will be no more than €0.014 (less than a penny) per minute, texts will be priced €0.02 per message (about a penny) and data will be priced €0.05 per megabyte (about 4p).
From June 2017 the surcharge will be removed altogether, and using your mobile anywhere in Europe will cost no more than when at home, saving UK consumers up to 38p per minute on calls and potentially up to £1.4 billion a year in roaming charges.