O2 extends cheap roaming zone

Using your phone to make calls abroad is getting cheaper thanks to O2 and T-Mobile

Mobile operators O2 and T-Mobile are making it cheaper for their customers to make international calls and transfer data whilst abroad.

O2 said it has expanded the number of countries where it's free for customers to receive calls on any network. Its My Europe price plan is now available in 31 European countries. Using the price plan, British O2 customers can make savings of up to 70 per cent compared to standard roaming rates.

A premium version, My Europe Extra , is also available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and another 30 countries. Customers using this calling plan can make flat-rate calls to the UK and mainland Europe costing 25p per minute. Receiving calls is free.

For those on contracts, paying £5 per month will move them onto the My Europe Extra plan.

"Last year, O2 introduced standard, flat-rates for text messages across Europe, ensuring absolute transparency for SMS roaming," said Peter Erskine, CEO of Telefonica O2 Europe. "We'll continue to bring down the last barriers in roaming charges, in particular mobile data services," he said.

T-Mobile halving data charges

T-Mobile , meanwhile, is halving the prices of data roaming charges in 10 countries. Charges will now be £3 per MB, instead of the previous £7.50.

The price cut will only include data sent and received in T-Mobile's 10 'footprint' countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the UK and the US.

The lower price will enable business customers to access email, web and other applications while away from the office, T-Mobile said.

"We are always looking to review our roaming costs and strive to offer the most competitive tariffs where possible," said Derek Williamson, head of business marketing at T-Mobile UK. "There is increasing demand for access to key business information whilst on the move both here in the UK and abroad."

The operator 3 has been offering customers free roaming on its international networks since last month.

The European Commission is currently trying to legislate price caps on international roaming calls . It aims to bring down the extortionate call charges incurred when a caller uses a connection for a voice call or data connection while abroad.