EU plans 'proper' caps on data roaming charges

Lower data costs, mo' money for snow globes
Lower data costs, mo' money for snow globes

Mobile roaming costs could finally fall to palatable levels in the next few years if rumoured EU plans are pushed through.

According to ZDNet, the EU's digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes wants to see home and roaming charges for data reach the same level by 2015.

The main difference between this and other data price regulations is that the EU would not only set the price networks can charge each other to let customers use data, but put a cap on the amount the customer get charged full stop.

MB = Mars Bar

This would mean a cap of only €0.50 (44p) by 2014 - matching the data charge cap coming in this year for EU mobile roaming.

The other major change would be to force operators to split roaming from home contracts - allowing customers to choose which networks supply their data when abroad while still keeping their same number.

"In recognition of the fact that those measures might take a while to give rise to more competition, the current caps on voice and text messaging would remain and indeed be gradually decreased, and — in view of the fact that there are humongously large profit margins at the moment on data — there would be retail price caps for the first time," the unnamed source told ZDNet.

Some networks, like Vodafone in the UK, are already taking steps to lower data charges by offering bundled roaming data with contracts and £2 a day for 25MB of data as a bolt on, although the charges do shoot up after this cap is reached.

Apparently the news will become official 22 June, so we'll wait eagerly for round seventy three billion in the ever decreasing cost of data charges should you feel the need to Facebook by the pool in Benidorm.

Via ZDNet

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.