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Using your mobile in the EU will be cheaper from tomorrow

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
From tomorrow, the cost of using your mobile phone in the European Union will fall.

New mobile roaming price caps will come into effect from 30 April within the EU member countries, the European Commission has confirmed.

This means it will be cheaper to make and receive calls, texts and to surf the web when roaming within the 28 member EU states.

Here are maximum tariffs you’ll pay, excluding VAT:

Outgoing voice calls: domestic price and up to €0.05 per minute, down from the previous €0.19 cost.
Incoming voice calls:
domestic price and up to €0.01 per minute, down from the previous €0.05 cost.
Outgoing texts:
domestic price and up to €0.02 per SMS, down from the previous €0.06 cost. It’s free to receive texts.
Online data download per MB:
domestic price and up to €0.05 per MB, down from the previous €0.20 cost.

The EC confirms that the roaming fee equal to the domestic price plus the €0.05 can’t exceed €0.19 for voice calls and €0.20 for data.

Further, the roaming fee equal to the domestic price plus the €0.02 for texts must not exceed €0.06.

There’s also an overall data spending cap of €50 a month so if you don’t tell your provider you want to download more, the usage will be capped at this amount. You should receive a text message from your provider when you’ve reached 80% of this limit.

Since 2007, the cost of making and receiving calls when abroad have been coming down and from 15 June 2017, mobile roaming costs will be abolished so it will cost the same price to use in the EU as it is at home.

Tips to cut mobile roaming costs

Sarah Pennells of Savvy Woman gives these tips to cut your costs:

“If you know you’re going to be using the internet a lot while you’re away, you can buy packages that offer you more data usage. These can be good value but you must keep an eye on your data usage as you may not receive any warning that your bill could be high, so ask your provider how you can limit your bill.”

“If you have a smartphone, unless you actively turn off the facility to roam the web, your mobile will constantly have access to the internet while you’re abroad. And that could mean a hefty phone bill when you return.”

She said for iPhone users, go to ‘settings’, click on ‘network’ and you’ll see ‘data roaming’. Switch it off. If you have a Blackberry, go to ‘applications’, then select ‘options’ , ‘mobile network’ and ‘data services’. You can then select ‘off when roaming’.

For Samsung users, tap the ‘settings’ key, ‘connections’, then ‘more networks’, then ‘mobile networks’ and tick/untick data roaming to turn it off/on.

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