Using a mobile phone while abroad should get cheaper this summer, thanks to new price caps that were agreed in the European Parliament last week. Starting from 1st July, mobile phone operators will only be able to charge a maximum of:

Using a mobile phone while abroad should get cheaper this summer, thanks to new price caps that were agreed in the European Parliament last week.

Starting from 1st July, mobile phone operators will only be able to charge a maximum of:

  • 23p per minute to make a call
  • 8p per minute to receive a call
  • 9p to send a text message
  • 67p per megabyte for downloads

Those prices all include VAT, but were converted from Euros, so final UK pricing might end up differing slightly.

Mobile phone providers currently charge a fortune for using the internet abroad — a practice known as ‘data roaming’ — and cases of holidaymakers racking up enormous bills after downloading a large file or watching YouTube videos are well known.

Roaming rules introduced in 2010 helped prevent ‘bill shock’ by generating an automatic text message once roaming charges reached a certain limit and activating a cut-off to prevent costs increasing. From 1st July, this system will expand to cover mobile phone users who travel outside the EU.

From 1st July 2014, mobile phone roaming should get cheaper still, thanks to new rules that kick in allowing travellers to choose a separate roaming provider in addition to the one they use at home.

The key is that this will use the same mobile phone number as the home mobile provider, yet offer calls that are priced at the particular local rate.

The price caps introduced this year are intended to be an incentive for foreign providers to offer competitive rates, but they will expire in 2017 — by which time it will hopefully cost the same to use a mobile phone across Europe as it does in the UK.

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long review – 1 - The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long is priced from £56,670 OTR, £63,990 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Chausson Welcome 711 Travel Line review – 1 - The new Chausson 711 is being sold in Welcome Travel Line spec only (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Rio 325

£52,180OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Rio 325 review – 1 - The 2018 Swift Rio 325 is just 5.99m long and has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome IH N-Class 630 RLS review – 1 - The IH N-Class 630 RLS is priced from £73,995 OTR for the 130bhp variant and from £76,490 OTR for the 180bhp version – we're testing the latter (© Gentleman Jack/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Marquis Majestic 196 review – 1 - Fitting six berths and six travel seats into a 3500kg motorhome is no mean feat – does it work? (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Bessacarr 597 review – 1 - The ’van tested has an MTPLM of 3850kg, but there is a version with a 3500kg MTPLM (and a lower payload) – read more in our Swift Bessacarr 597 review (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)