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.