Europe cuts cost of text messages

Roaming text messages will be 60% cheaper this summer, costing €0.11 from €0.28 each. Call charges also fall in 2010

22 April 2009

TEXT messages inside Europe will be 60% cheaper from this summer – with roaming texts costing just €0.11 excluding tax compared with the present €0.28.

A vote in the European Parliament also prepares the way for all roaming mobile charges in Europe to be cut over the next year.

Phone calls made from abroad will drop from €0.46 per minute to €0.35 from July 2011 and calls received will be reduced to €0.11 per minute instead of €0.22.

“Today’s vote marks the definite end of the roaming rip-off in Europe,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

“The new roaming rules were agreed in the record time of just seven months. Just in time for the summer holidays, European citizens will now be able to see the single market without borders on their phone bills.”

Using telephone internet or surfing by laptop will also drop in price this summer with data charges costing a maximum of €1 per megabyte, compared with €1.68 today. Prices will also drop to €0.80 in 2010 and to €0.50 in 2011.

Mobile phone companies will also be required to start billing their customers by the second after the 31st second of the call – the present minute by minute charging can see users over-charged by up to 24% per call.

In total, the changes could see roaming charges also drop by 60% over the next year.

From May 2010 there should also be security measures in place to alert users if they are about to exceed spending limits: a starting limit of €50, excluding VAT, a month will be set but users can change this if they need more access.
Picture: Flickr STUART FRISBY

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