Roaming charges halved in Europe

The cost of data when you're abroad has been slashed in half, with the EU also limiting the cost of calls and texts.

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Your next trip to Europe is about to get cheaper. Roaming charges have been slashed by as much as a half with new limits on the amount that phone networks and carriers can charge for calls, texts and data use.

From 1 July, the cost of making a call will be no more than 19 cents per minute, a drop of 21 percent. Receiving a call will cost 5 cents, a cut of almost 30 percent. Sending a text message will cost 6 cents.

Data use sees the biggest cut, the price halved from 45 cents per megabyte to just 20 cents.

The price cuts come into effect in all EU member countries. That's a huge win for holidaymakers heading to Europe on vacation, as they can relax safe in the knowledge they won't return home to find an unexpectedly huge phone bill on the mat.

Mobile networks and carriers will also be able to offer deals that only include roaming, so you'll be able to pick a local network when you arrive in your destination rather than being tied to the roaming charges of your home network.

Roaming deals have got better in recent years, with the pick of the bunch being Three. Three's Feel at Home deal extends your usual calls, data and text allowances to 11 countries including the USA, Italy and Australia. From 1 July, Three also adds France, Switzerland, Norway, Finland and Israel.

Lawmakers at the European Commission have crusaded against roaming charges recently. Europe's Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes wants to abolish high fees altogether -- and in April, the European Parliament voted to end international roaming charges by Christmas 2015.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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