Roaming costs cut

New EU ‘roaming’ rules took effect on July 1, cutting the costs of using mobile phones abroad by at least 60 per cent.

The rules reduce the price telecom companies can charge European customers for using their mobile phones in another EU country.

It’s the first time the EU has imposed price limits on text messages and data services. The rules also lower the existing ceilings on mobile roaming calls.

Sending a text from abroad in the EU will cost 11 euro cents maximum, less than half the previous average of 29 cents (far more than texters pay at home). Receiving a text in another EU country remains free.

Under the new rules, mobile operators must also bill their customers for roaming calls by the second after the first 30 seconds, instead of on a per minute basis. This is expected to cut phone bills by more than 20 per cent.