updated 01:24 pm EDT, Mon July 1, 2013
Further European roaming charge cuts due next year
A drop in roaming charges mandated by the European Commission has taken place today, lowering prices for Europeans traveling within the continent. The new rules cut the maximum price EU-based carriers can charge their customers per megabyte of data transfer from 70 euro cents ($0.91) down to 45 cents ($0.59), with a further drop scheduled in July 2014 to push it down to 20 cents ($0.26).
The cost of calls have also dropped for both made and received calls, going down from 29 cents ($0.37) and 8 cents ($0.10) per minute respectively to 24 cents ($0.31) and 7 cents ($0.09). Calls from July 1st 2014 will go down to 19 cents ($0.24) per minute outbound, and 5 cents ($0.6) per minute inbound. Outbound texts have lowered from 9 cents ($0.11) to 8 cents ($0.10) , and will go down to 6 cents ($0.08) next year.
The European Commission has spent a considerable amount of time working to lower roaming charges across the continent, and has recently voted to fast-track a proposal to end roaming charges completely. While some aspects still have to be worked out, lawmakers are aiming to scrap roaming charges by the end of 2014, though regional carriers may end up resisting something that counts towards around two percent of carrier revenues.
Also due to start next year is the Alternative Roaming Partner scheme, which will allow customers to sign up with another company for the purposes of roaming, be it another general mobile phone network or a carrier that specializes in roaming. With the possibility of cutting roaming charges entirely in the same year, it is unlikely that ARP will have much, if any, of an effect on consumer spending.