AAPL Stock: 118.03 ( -0.85 )

Printed from

EU caps on phone, data roaming fees start July

updated 11:55 am EDT, Wed April 22, 2009

EU Roaming Caps Start July

The European Union Parliament today voted in favor of a plan from the European Commission to cap roaming rates for cellular service in any of its member states. The motion takes effect July 1st and will particularly cut data and text messaging costs. Internet access out-of-country will be limited to 1 per megabyte at wholesale rates, or far less than the 1.63 charged today. Text messaging will also drop sharply with individual messages costing no more than 0.11 versus an average of 0.28.

Call roaming has already been limited in the past but will be cut further, shrinking to 0.43 for outbound calls and 0.19 for incoming. Phone call bills will also have to be measured by the second after the first 30 seconds, the Parliament says. No matter the type of service, the EU has also set a March 2010 deadline for carriers to allow subscribers a self-imposed roaming limit; the restriction will automatically cut off roaming service after 50 or a voluntary higher figure and prevent "surprise" high bills, particularly for data.

Both calls and data will also have their roaming fees cut down in the next two years. Outgoing and incoming calls will be pushed down to 0.39/0.15 by July 2010 and 0.35/0.11 a year later. Mobile data will have to reach 0.80 by 2010 and 0.50 by 2011. The European Commission says the new rules will last until summer 2012 and that it has the right to add new rules by June 2011.

The regulation is meant to guard against what Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding describes as a "rip off" practice for roaming fees in Europe, where cellular carriers have largely been free to set their own rates independently of what the service actually costs. In some cases, data rates have been several times higher than the proposed 2009 rate, peaking at 6.82 in Ireland.

Providers have regularly objected to the changes as interfering with their business models but haven't typically provided their actual costs for data and voice.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Business model

    Of course it interferes with their business model - that model is based around making people pay through the nose for straying outside a country's border. What company would agree to having their profits cut?

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is my fave part

    "...but haven't typically provided their actual costs for data and voice."

    Of course there is the build out of infrastructure, and time line estimates for break even vs. service life cycle, blah-blah-blah.

    It can be expensive and daunting to collect all that data and present it in a concise, understandable report...

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented