Abolishing EU roaming charges will likely increase mobile usage

European parliament has voted to scrap EU roaming charges, meaning British travellers can send texts, make calls, and browse the internet at their UK rates from mid-2017.

Removing the increase in costs is sure to see an influx in the amount of text messages sent and calls made when Brits are abroad. Right now approximately 90 per cent of mobile customers don’t use their devices when overseas due to the premium roaming prices charged by operators, according to the co-founder of telecom systems provider Matrixx, Jennifer Kyriakakis.

Phone operators can still charge 14p a minute for outgoing calls, 3p for incoming calls, 4p per text message and 13p per megabyte of data downloaded, on top of users’ normal tariffs, theguardian.com notes. However, from April 2016 those costs will be reduced to 3p per minute, 1p per SMS and 3p per megabyte. Roaming charges will be completely removed in June 2017.

Kester Mann, mobile operator analyst with CCS Insight, said: “A number of providers have opted to offer inclusive roaming in many tariffs. Three’s Feel at Home service has saved customers £1.3bn in roaming charges and has been used by over 2 million customers.”

Not everyone believes abolishing roaming charges entirely is a good idea. Roger Helmer MEP, on behalf of UKIP, said: “Lower prices for jet-setters will mean higher domestic prices. The EU plan is good for MEPs, bad for voters.”

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