Costs to call Europe drop today in new EU law

Communication within Europe has been capped on price, as a new law comes into force

All phone calls within European countries are set to drop in price and be capped from today (Wednesday May 15), as a law limiting the cost has entered into force.

A user with a French phone tariff calling another European country will now not be charged more than they would be for a usual domestic call.

The European Commission law states: “Retail prices (excluding VAT) charged to consumers for calls within the regulated European Union may not exceed €0.19 per minute for calls, and €0.06 per SMS.”

In France, this corresponds to €0.228 per minute for calls, and €0.072 per text.

The law affects all calls from a mobile or fixed phone in a user's home country to any mobile or fixed number in another EU country. For users who already have extra tariffs or plans allowing them to communicate abroad, their phone company will now have a responsibility to contact them, to offer them a choice between keeping their current rates, and choosing the new legal rates.

The new rates will be applied automatically within two months, but it is up to individual users to check whether they will be better off under their existing plans or not, depending on how often they call abroad.

Prices may also vary depending on your type of contract, and whether you are calling a fixed line or a mobile phone.

Currently, the new law also applies to calls to and from the United Kingdom, but it is unlikely to do so after Brexit, as the move is a European Union measure.

The change comes less than two years after roaming costs within Europe were also capped - with communication made when travelling in Europe charged at national rates.

This means that a user with a French phone tariff travelling in Spain, for example, would see their calls, SMS texts and Internet connections charged at the same price as usual, without an extra charge.

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