Caps on Roaming Fees Incurred by Consumers in Europe

roamingEuropean lawmakers have now put forward an agreement in which there would be a cap on the maximum price that a consumer would have to pay on mobile phone roaming charges for a period of five years. This cap would also be applicable to data service charges incurred by smartphone users while travelling.

Under the new rule, consumer would pay no more than 29 cents per minute to make a call and 70 cents per megabyte for data downloads across Europe. This would put a cap on roaming fees for voice service and text messaging that has been in effect in the 27-nation European Union since 2007. This would stir the competition even further.

Ms. Kroes drafted this package with the aim of increasing competition in the industry which is being dominated by a small number of companies and forward all benefits to the consumer. The prices were deregulated 14 years ago which benefitted three or four carriers.

The carriers have been gaining a lot from high charges that they put for mobile roaming where consumers pay fees while traveling outside their home countries to initiate and answer calls, send messages and even surf the web. The new rule comes in wake of users using more data services due to surge in the smartphone industry.