USING a mobile while on holiday will become a lot cheaper this morning, as long as you travel within the EU.
From today, Europe’s telecoms firms will be able to charge far less in roaming fees – the additional costs they impose for making calls and browsing the web abroad.
Neelie Kroes, Europe’s top telecoms regulator, is enforcing the fee cut, which will see the price of a text reduced from 9p to around 8p and the cost of a call down from 29p per minute to around 24.5p, once VAT is added.
Internet use sees the biggest fall in prices, down from 70p to 46p for a megabyte of data. Travellers to Croatia, which joins the union today, will see data costs fall to less than 10 per cent of what they would have been last summer.
Roaming costs have more than halved in the last five years, and Kroes has vowed to eradicate them by 2015, although she faces fierce competition from Europe’s big mobile telecoms firms, which make up roughly three per cent of their revenues from the charges.
The rules are designed to prevent travellers being stung by gargantuan holiday bills.