European Parliament approves mobile roaming cap

Thursday 10 May 2012 19.52
The cap on mobile roaming charges will come into effect on July 1
The cap on mobile roaming charges will come into effect on July 1

The European Parliament has approved the decision to cap all mobile phone charges from July 2012.

The new rules will come into force on July 1, capping the maximum charges for data, calls and text messages while a phone user is moving from one country to another.

The rates will be further reduced in 2013 and 2014 as part of the phased process.

The maximum cost of calls made while abroad will be capped at 29 cent a minute in July 2012, 24 cent a minute in 2013 and 19 cent a minute by 2014.

The maximum cost of calls made while abroad will be capped at 29 cent a minute in July 2012, 24 cent a minute in 2013 and 19 cent a minute by 2014.

The cost of sending a text message while abroad will be a maximum of 9 centa text in July, falling to 8 cent by 2013 and to 6 cent a message by 2014.

The cost of downloading data will reduce to 70 cent per megabit by July 2012, to 45 cent in 2013 and to 20 cent by 2014.

Irish MEP Seán Kelly, a member of the European Parliament's Industry Committee, welcomed the decision, describing it as a victory for consumers.

"Until now, Europeans have had to contend with extortionate roaming charges with some operators making profits of 700% in some cases. That is simply not acceptable. Today is an absolute victory for consumers across Europe," he said.

578 MEPs voted in favour of the capped roaming rates today, 10 voted against and 10 abstained from the vote.