Smartphone users face lower bills on EU visits

02/07/2014

Smartphone Users Face Lower Bills On EU Visits

British smartphone users who are on holiday in the EU will not face the same sort of expensive roaming charges for data, calls and texts that they have in the past from today, with officials across the continent having capped the charges in member countries.

Stories about people heading overseas and coming home to find themselves with a massive bill thanks to their use of Facebook and other popular apps have become more and more common in the last few years as smartphone use has grown, so it will be hoped that these new lower charges will help to curb this worrying trend. 

So moving forward, what has changed, and what can Brits going away this summer expect to be charged when they use their smartphones to keep in touch?

Data

The biggest changes in price will be seen by those who frequently use their data plans. It is the area that has caused the most issues in recent years, with the uploading of photos to Facebook and general browsing becoming all the more common when overseas. 

Operators will now be allowed to charge their customers no more than 16p per MB (before VAT) for their data usage, which is a significant drop from the 36p per MB that Brits were being charged in the past few years. 

Texts 

The fall in the cost of a text message has not been as significant as the data charges, but it will still come as welcome news for those who like to keep in contact with friends and family back home when they're abroad.

From today, the cost of a text message will be capped at 5p, just a penny lower than the 6p per message that was in place previously. 

Calls

Two different call plan caps have been introduced for users who are in EU nations as well. For those who are making calls from abroad to their friends and family back home, the cost will be capped at 15p per minute, which is down from the 19p per minute that was previously in place. 

In addition to this, those who are accepting calls from home when in EU nations will be charged 4p per minute, which has fallen from 6p per minute. 

For those who are headed overseas this summer, though, it's worth brushing up on your EU nations to make sure that countries you are looking to use your handset in are covered by these new caps. 

Some countries that you might expect to be European Union members, Switzerland for example, are not, and if you are travelling to these you could be subject to a large bill if you use too much data, calls and texts. 

If in doubt, it's always better to give your network operator a quick call before you leave. These are normally free, and they can put your mind at ease over what you will be paying for using your phone when on holiday.