It's now much cheaper to use your phone in Europe

Europe map
EU roaming charges are dropping.

The EU-imposed reduction in roaming charges that we reported on earlier this week comes into effect today, Saturday 30 April, so the majority of us should see a drop of around 75 percent in the cost of calls, texts and data in Europe.

From June 2017 you won't have to pay anything extra at all as you travel between EU countries, but this is the first stage in the "phased removal" of the additional charges. It affects all 28 countries in the EU.

Your phone company can now charge you a maximum of 3p per minute, 1p per text and 3p per MB of data plus VAT while you're on your travels, on top of the existing rate you pay for these services while in the UK.

Staying or going?

With EU and Brexit debate a hot political topic for the country at the moment, the news comes at a welcome time for those campaigning to stay in Europe, although no one's sure exactly how leaving the EU would affect the new deal.

Your phone contract will determine whether or not you see any change: Three already offers free roaming in several countries, for example, while some customers are on deals with special charges for phone use abroad.

For the majority of us, it's one less thing to worry about - and by next summer the roaming charge within the EU will be gone for good. According to Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, Brits spend £350m a year on data, calls and texts while abroad in Europe.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.