As of July 1st, new data roaming price caps will take effect in Europe, after an agreement between members of the European Parliament and the Danish Presidency of the Council of Ministers. This new mandate will be helpful to those who travel in Europe, and are forced to rely upon high data roaming charges to use their smartphones.
Presently, no price ceiling exists on what a megabyte of data can cost while roaming – but under the new rules, from July 1st on, the cap would be 70 cents, dropping to 45 cents in 2013, and 20 cents in 2014. Charges for calls and texts will also be cut down – A one minute call tops out at 29 cents from July 1st, dropping to 19 cents by 2014. Messages can not exceed 9 cents this year, and will go down to 6 cents by 2014.
Also, as of July 1st 2014, smartphone users will be able to shop around for carriers in the region they’re in and find the best roaming deal. Essentially, customers could bypass roaming data add-ons from their primary carriers, and chose the best local plans as they travel, without affecting any existing data plan or roaming agreement.
In the meantime, the data roaming costs will go down. The new deal still needs to be approved by Parliament in May, although MEPs and the Council believe it will have no problem being passed.