Businesses and their travellers are set to benefit from new price caps on internet roaming charges across European Union countries.
The new limits set down by the EU have come into force today (July 1) and effectively more than halve the costs of browsing the internet on smartphones while travelling in another EU country.
The regulations also reduce the costs of making and receiving calls across EU members.
Neelie Kroes, telecommications commissioner for the EU, said: “This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer.”
The maximum price for using the internet in another EU country will be pegged at 16p or €0.20 per megabyte – down from the previous limit of 36p or €0.45.
The costs for receiving calls while in another EU state will drop from a maximum of 6p to 4p per minute, while the cap on making a call will drop from 19p to 15p per minute. The price for sending text messages drops from 6p to 5p.
The EU is set to go further still on reducing mobile costs with the European Parliament voting to scrap roaming fees in April. Although this move has to be approved by all the governments of all member states before it can be implemented.
Kroes added: “Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed – the parliament has done their part, now it is up to member states to seal the deal.”
The new limits do not apply to any countries outside of the EU.