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Roaming charges will be capped in EU countries from tomorrow

Friday, April 29th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Mobile roaming charges across the European Union will be capped from tomorrow, ahead of a full ban next year.

From 15 June 2017, using your phone abroad will cost the same as it does at home thanks to new rules passed by the European Parliament last year.

But until then operators are being given a transitional period in which they can charge a small amount on top of domestic prices.

As of tomorrow, roaming charges will be capped at €0.05 per minute for outgoing voice calls, €0.02 for texts and €0.05 per MB of data.

The cap – and next year's ban – will apply in all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, but not Switzerland.

Spanish MEP Pilar del Castillo Vera, who was responsible for steering the new rules through Parliament, said: “30 April is a great day for consumers.

“They will benefit from reduced roaming charges, of up to four times, on voice, data and text messages when traveling in the EU.

“It’s the final step before the total abolition of roaming charges in June 2017.”

The phasing out of roaming charges is part of a package of telecoms rules that also includes the first EU-wide net neutrality rules aimed at ensuring open access to internet content without discrimination.

From tomorrow, internet providers will not be allowed to reduce internet speed and use it for commercial practices.

'A taste of what's to come'

Earlier this week, Tesco Mobile announced that it will be scrapping roaming charges in 31 European countries throughout the summer.

The network’s Home from Home service will allow customers to use their UK allowances abroad between 23 May and 3 September.

Tesco Mobile’s chief marketing officer Simon Groves said: “We want our customers to enjoy their holiday without having to worry about the cost of using their phones.

“So we decided, why wait until 2017 to banish roaming? Let’s help our customers and give them a taste of what’s to come.”

Last month, a report from UK travel industry body ABTA and Deloitte warned that an exit from the European Union could lead to higher mobile roaming charges for British travellers.

The report warned that a ‘leave’ vote in June’s EU referendum could mean that both roaming caps and next year’s ban could be removed.

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