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Londoners benefit from EU attack on roaming rip-off

March 29, 2012 3:38 PM

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed a new deal between Euro-MPs and EU governments which will benefit Londoners on business and holiday by reducing still further the costs of calling or texting from mobile phones abroad. For the first time, there will also be a cap on costs of mobile email, internet and data downloads.

This is part of a continuing plan started by the EU in 2007 to end the scandal of excessive roaming charges when outside the home country. The eventual aim is to align roaming tariffs on domestic prices; in the last 5 years the difference has narrowed by 75% already.

Sarah Ludford commented:

"I'm delighted that feisty - and female - Liberal European Commissioner Neelie Kroes is leading the Brussels attack on the roaming rip-off. It's great news that the new data cap will end the 'bill shock misery' suffered by many people on their return home."

"Even Europe-haters have to admit that this is wildly successful policy, and it could only be achieved by the EU as a whole squaring up to the big telecoms firms."

Note to editors:

The deal still needs to be finally adopted by the European Parliament (probably during its May plenary session) before it can come into force on 1st July 2012.

Calls will be capped at 29 cents a minute (24p) from July, falling to (16p) by 2014. For receiving calls the cost is 7p falling to 4p. Data roaming costs will be limited from July to 70 cents/ MB (59p) and fall to 20 cents (around 17p) in 2014. The full schedule of price caps is:

2012

2013

2014

VOICE

Wholesale

€0.14 (12p)

€0.10 (8p)

€0.05 (4p)

Retail (made)

0.29 (24p)

0.24 (20p)

0.19 (16p)

Retail (received)

0.08 (7p)

0.07 (6p)

0.05 (4p)

SMS

Wholesale

€0.03 (3p)

€0.02 (2p)

€0.02 (2p)

Retail

0.09 (8p)

0.08 (7p)

0.06 (5p)