EC campaigns to bring an end to data roaming charges

The European Commission (EC) wants data roaming charges to be scrapped after findings from a study show mobile users purposely avoid accessing certain services whilst travelling abroad.

Figures from a recent survey show that 94 per cent of smartphone owners will avoid using the likes of Facebook and Twitter when located in an EU country other than their own. This is mainly due to the fear of racking up hidden costs. said the EC appeared particularly shocked that 47 per cent of the 28,000 EU citizens questioned said they do not use mobile internet whilst they are away, with 25 per cent switching off their phones altogether.

EC vice president Neelie Kroes said she can’t believe that European residents feel forced to switch off their phones to avoid data roaming charges – before vowing to “finish the job” by eliminating the issue once and for all.

“I am honestly shocked by these figures,” she told “It’s not just a fight between holidaymakers and telecoms companies. Millions of businesses face extra costs because of roaming and companies like app makers lose revenue too.”

The same applies to businesses who communicate with their customers via SMS. If the company attempts to contact one of their customers yet can’t get due to their phone being switched off, both parties will suffer.

Last September saw the EC announce plans to abolish data roaming charges by 2016, but the proposals are awaiting approval from the 28 EU member nations.