Happy Hols

Just in time for the Continental holiday season, the Europeans have done us a couple of favours – the EC is reducing the iniquitous roaming charges from July 1st, and the good old French have elected a socialist president so weakening the hitherto strong Euro.

You can now get 1.25 Euros for a quid and the rate seems to be improving all the time. If the Greeks faff around much longer it could go much higher.

Meanwhile EC vp Neelie Kroes, she who dubbed Intel ‘sponsor of the European taxpayer’ after slapping a  billion euro fine for anti-trust behaviour on the company, has proclaimed the end to rip-off roaming charges.

“We have ended rip-offs familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone while travelling abroad,” says EC vp Neelie Kroes,

As from July 1st. the cap on mobile Internet roaming will be 70 eurocents a megabyte. At present there is no limit on what companies can charge for mobile Internet roaming. The 70 cents figure  will fall to 45 cents on July 1st 2013 and to 20 cents on July 1, 2014.

The roaming cap for making a voice call will fall to 29 cents a minute on July 1 from 35 cents now, and to 19 cents a minute by July 1, 2014.

The cap for receiving a voice call while roaming will fall to 8 cents per minute in July from 11 cents now, and to 5 cents by July 2014.

The roaming cap for sending a text message will fall to 9 cents in July from 11 cents now and to 6 cents by 2014.

Kroes adds that, from 2014, roamers will be able to choose, on the fly, any network they wish to use – a move which, it is hoped, will bring down charges due to increased competition.

So, for those heading across the Channel this summer, the Ricard will be substantially cheaper and the following month’s phone bill won’t be such a shock.



  1. You’re right Gary, they’ll try and recoup the money elsewhere, though they’ll find it difficult to do in the UK where competition seems pretty cut-throat. Hopefully they’ll get it back from the germans who have plenty of money. But I think the roaming charge has been such an outrageous scam for so many years that I can’t help but rejoice that it’s been curtailed. It’s just such a pain not being able to use your phone for data services in Europe for fear of being massivley clobbered. Also it seems so silly.

  2. You’re right Terry. I was looking at it from an entirely selfish point of view because I have three jollies to France planned over the next eight weeks. Of course the £ hasn’t devalued against the $ so our $ trade is unscathed, but I think something like half our exports go to Europe so they’ll become less competitive. I consider myself justly reprimanded.

  3. David,
    There are one dark sides to this. First, the cost of calls at home, the majority that you make “not roaming”, will likely go up to compensate. THis will possibly happen with fanfare as to how it’s the EC’s fault, from the service providers. I don’t see them being the losers overall on such a move. Second, the cost of “them overseas” buying our products increases, so we lose trade. Still, we can enjoy the cheap prices while it lasts.

  4. Are you sure that the rise of the pound is doing the UK a favour David?
    The way things are looking, devaluation of the pound to below the Yuan is about the only hope the UK has of exporting anything beyond e-waste and empty alcohol bottles.

  5. Indeed so, Anonymous, but I don’t think Mrs Merkel would agree.

  6. Wunderbar!

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