Use of mobile phones to become cheaper in the EU area
The European Union's new regulation on roaming services lowers the prices of mobile phone calls, text messages and mobile data services in the EU area starting 1 July 2012.
From the beginning of July onwards, the maximum rate for calls made when abroad is EUR 0.36 per minute (+ minimum charge for a maximum of 30 seconds). The maximum rate for calls received abroad is EUR 0.10 per minute.
The price cap on text messages sent when abroad is EUR 0.11 per message. Receiving a text message is free of charge.
The new Roaming Regulation also establishes for the first time a price ceiling for the consumer prices of mobile data. In the future, the price of data services used when abroad may not exceed EUR 0.86 per megabyte or received multimedia message.
The price caps only cover roaming that takes place when abroad; in other words they do not apply international calls made from one's own country, for example. The maximum rates will be automatically applied to all customers who have not opted for a specific roaming price list or package.
Under the Roaming Regulation, mobile operators must use an SMS service to announce the price information for mobile services to customers as they arrive on the territory of another country. Companies in the field of telecommunications also have an obligation to offer their customers a credit limit service of a minimum of EUR 60, so that the customer's use of mobile data (excluding multimedia messages) will not exceed the credit limit agreed upon without express consent by the customer.
The Roaming Regulation will come into force on 1 July 2012 and will signify the continuation of the regulation of roaming services until 2022. Compliance with the Regulation is controlled by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority.