Cheaper mobile calls in Europe

Mobile calls abroad 70% cheaper from August this year

The 70% reduction in the cost of using a mobile when abroad will come into effect by August this year following the ratification of a ruling over roaming charges in the European parliament yesterday.

The new rule will put an end to excessive charges when using a mobile elsewhere in the EU. A new maximum charge of 49 cents per minute is to be introduced for making calls and 24 cents per minute for receiving a call.

Furthermore the new rule will establish charges for operators too. This is the price that operators charge each other when their clients use other services while abroad, the new charge will be capped at 30 cents. According to Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner in charge of this new ruling, the new caps on prices will reduce standard charges by up to 70% in the current market.

Further information on the new ruling will be published in the official EU newspaper on 29th June and from this moment onwards operators will have one month to introduce the new ‘European rate’ or offer a better alternative to its clients.

The new maximum charges will be applicable in August and all clients who have not opted for any alternatives will be covered by the new consumer protection rate by September.

The ‘European rate’ will be reduced following its introduction this year. After one year it will be cut by 2 cents and in 2009, two years after its introduction it will be cut by 3 cents. In 2008 it will be 46 cents for calls made and 22 cents for calls received whilst operators will only be able to charge 28 cents for their services. By 2009 the charges will drop to 43 cents for calls made, 19 cents for calls received and 26 cents for operators.

The new ruling is only applicable for 2 years, following this the EU will review mobile charges and decide whether to prolong the ruling.