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Holiday mobile costs fall

Woman on phone near Eiffel TowerNew roaming charges mean it is now cheaper to use your mobile phone when travelling abroad in the European Union.

From today (Monday, 1 July) you should be charged no more than to €0.24 (around 21p) per minute excluding VAT to make a call.

The cost of receiving a call should be no more than €0.07 (around 6p) per minute excluding VAT, while the price of sending a text should cost no more than €0.08 (around 7p) per text.

The cost of using your phone to get online will also fall from Monday.

Data roaming

Mobile phone companies must charge no more than 45 cents (38p) per megabyte of data, plus VAT – down from 75 cents currently.

All mobile operators have to apply a cut-off limit once you have used €50 (excluding VAT) – around £40 – of data per month, wherever you travel in the world unless you choose to opt out.

The cost of using your phone within the European Union is capped under EU law, which sets out ‘euro-tariffs’.

However, these tariffs are not available in Switzerland or Turkey so beware that you could be charged more for using your mobile in these countries.

Costs also tend to be much higher outside Europe – particularly data roaming costs – so if you are heading further afield, think about how you plan to use your phone in advance.

For instance, outside the EU you can be charged every time a voicemail is left on your phone, even if you don’t listen to it.

Using your mobile abroad

Ofcom’s comprehensive guide to using your mobile abroad explains what you can do to avoid running up a large mobile bill overseas.

It has information on turning off data roaming – including video guides explaining how to change settings on some of the most popular smartphones.

The guide is supported by a number of organisations including Citizens Advice, ABTA, Rough Guides and DK Travel.

Guide to using your mobile abroad

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