EU caps on roaming charges mean that sunseekers and business travellers alike won’t be confronted with crippling phone bills, as well as the inevitable post-holiday blues, upon returning to the UK.
The caps come into effect from July 1st 2014, and will be effective in more than 40 EU countries. This is fantastic news for UK consumers who frequently use their smartphone abroad, as they will be faced with significantly lower roaming charges for data downloads, texts and calls.
Network providers can now charge a maximum of 16p (€0.20) per megabyte, plus VAT for mobile downloads and Internet surfing. That equates to around 19p for UK consumers.
The new price is substantially lower than the previous ones, at €0.70 per megabyte in 2012, and €0.45 per megabyte in 2013.
To add some context to the data roaming charges, checking social media profiles for 30 minutes, every day for one week, will now cost you around €7. Whereas just last month, the same amount of data usage would’ve set you back €15.75.
It might pain you to hear, but during the World Cup in 2010, data downloads would have cost consumers 25 times more (if the average price was €5/MB) than the current price.
In terms of making calls, it’ll now cost you 19 cents per minute (excluding VAT), compared to last year, which was 24 cents per minute (also excluding VAT).
Naturally, receiving calls abroad is considerably cheaper than making them. Under the new caps, it’ll cost just 5 cents per minute, compared to 2013, which was 7 cents per minute.
Caps have also been applied to text messaging, so you’ll now be charged 6 cents per text, rather than 8 cents.
These are of course the ‘maximum’ charges you’ll incur whilst using your handset abroad.
Network providers can often supply consumers with a better deal than the standard rate, so you’re not constantly worrying about excessive charges.
You should be able to bin your work emails and update your Facebook, whilst nursing a creamy piña colada somewhere on the Costa del Sol, completely concern-free.
What’s more, is that roaming charges are actually set to disappear altogether by the end of 2015.