EU to cut mobile roaming charges

With proposals from the UE, using your phone abroad won't cost an arm and a leg

The cost of using your mobile abroad is set to be slashed by 60 per cent this June, after the European Union (EU) delivered a stark warning to mobile operators.

Calls and texts made while abroad - roaming - often cost far more than calls made at home.

Viviane Reding , the EU Commissioner for Information, Society and Media, has made it clear that if the operators do not agree to the price cuts by the summer, the cuts will be imposed on them.

The cuts would include the costs of receiving calls and texts and downloading media, according to the Times .

In November last year, the EU proposed a series of changes for mobile operators after a Europe-wide survey found most Europeans were afraid to use their mobile abroad because of high charges.

While high roaming charges are a problem all across Europe, the Commission's proposals set a maximum price of 11p a minute for receiving calls, 34p a minute for calling home and 23p a minute for calls within a country for the UK.


Mobile phone operators were unhappy with the plans, as roaming charges make up to 18 per cent of operators' revenue. Experts warned that such large cuts in such a short period of time made Reding's June deadline an unrealistic one.

Mobile operator Vodafone appeared unphased by the EU commission's ultimatum. "We believe you can see roaming charges coming down already," a spokesperson told

"They've gone down by about 30 per cent over the past few years. We think we already offer a roaming service which benefits customers."

Last month, a leading consumer group BEUC said nobody should have to pay more than 33 euro cents (22p) per minute while using their mobile abroad . It also accused mobile operators of creating a smokescreen with confusing contract bundles which don't reduce the costs of roaming.