Europe cuts roaming rates in half, may eliminate charges altogether

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The European Commission introduced huge cuts in roaming rates across the continent, as it looks toward creating new rules to eliminate the charges completely. 

According to a press release from the European Union, the price for data downloads will be reduced by 55 percent from 45 cents per megabyte to 20 cents per megabyte. Starting July 1, the prices for other mobile services would also be decreased across the board. The cost of making a call would go from 24 cents per minute to 19 cents per minute. Receiving a call would be reduced from 7 cents per minute to 5 cents per minute. Lastly, the cost for sending a text message would go from 8 cents per text to 6 cents per text.

“This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer. But it is not enough. 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,” said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes.

According to an earlier poll from the executive body, British travelers spent 112 million pounds on roaming charges in 2013. The survey also found that about a quarter of European travelers try to avoid paying roaming charges by turning off their phones  completely while traveling in a different country in the continent.

The newest price cut continues the EU’s trend of driving down mobile charges. For the past seven years, the European Commission has reduced prices by placing caps on what mobile companies can charge. Because of this, the cost of roaming services in 2014 represents an 80-90 percent reduction from the price in 2007.