Friday, 20 March 2009

EU to cap roaming charges of data downloads

Last Monday in Strasbourg, France, a panel of EU lawmakers voted 21-8 in favour of capping the costs of web browsing and data downloads on mobile phones and laptops, meaning that those on holiday, travelling or working abroad would pay a lot less for their telecoms bills. Subject to a further vote between 21st-24th April, starting 1st July roaming charges would be lowered, with the transfer of data to be capped at 50 cents (approx. 36p) per Mb and text messages to be capped at 11 cents (approx. 8p) per text, and by 2010 telephone calls would be capped at 40 cents (approx. 28p) per minute (Financial Times). The EU Telecoms Commissioner, Viviane Reding, believes that this bill is, “very good news for consumers all over Europe, …[especially] in view of the current economic downturn…which will encourage them to make more use of their mobile phones”. This is especially good news for those who check their emails abroad, and those who update their social networking sites (e.g. Twitter, blogs, Facebook) whilst abroad.

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