Fabian Demicoli

New Roaming Charges

 The new regulation provides for a further reduction in call charges and an extension of pricing limits to cover SMS and data services. The new rules will ensure that the price paid by users of mobile communication networks for community-wide roaming services is not unjustifiably higher than the price paid for making or receiving a call, sending and receiving an SMS message and transferring data in their country of origin.

The regulation lays down new measures to improve the transparency of retail prices for data roaming services, and to provide roaming customers with the tools they need to monitor and control their expenditure on these services.

The cost of mobile roaming calls: currently at EUR 0.46 for calls made and EUR 0.22 for calls received abroad, the caps will go down to EUR 0.43 for calls made and EUR 0.19 for calls received abroad on 1 July 2009, to EUR 0.39 and EUR 0.15 on 1 July 2010 and to EUR 0.35 and EUR 0.11 by 1 July 2011 (excluding VAT).

The new roaming rules introduce an SMS price cap for sending a text message while abroad at EUR 0.11 (excluding VAT). It also reduces data roaming charges by introducing a wholesale cap of EUR 1 per megabyte download as from 1 July 2009, which will fall to EUR 0.80 in 2010 and to EUR 0.50 in 2011. In addition, the principle of per second billing is introduced after first 30 seconds for calls made and from the first second for calls received while abroad.

Source: MEUSAC Sectoral Committee Update

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