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European roaming costs tumble

Posted on 10 July 2013

European roaming costs tumble

The cost of using your phone in other European Union countries is plummeting as new caps came into effect on 1st July 2013. If you're thinking of going abroad and still want to use your smartphone, it'll be more affordable, so you can stay in touch for less.

The caps, which have been lowered by the EU every year for the last six years, will see the cost of making a phone call drop by 16%, getting online drop by around 35% and sending a text drop by 13%. Clearly the biggest drop is for online services. With the huge increase year after year in the popularity of the internet on phones, the sharp drop is particularly welcome.

  SUMMER 2012 SUMMER 2013
Euro prices are constant, pounds are at current exchange rate, numbers exclude VAT in the relevant country. Source: European Commission
Internet browsing 70 cents/ 60 pence per MB 45 cents/ 39 pence per MB
Making a call 29 cents/ 25 pence per minute 24 cents/ 21 pence per minute
Receiving a call 8 cents/ 7 pence per minute 7 cents/ 6 pence per minute
Sending a text 9 cents/ 8 pence per SMS 8 cents/ 7 pence per SMS

The table above shows the drop in prices for the EU, but it also means countries joining the EU in the future will join the new lower pricing. If you travel to Croatia for example you'll see an even bigger drop in costs as it joined the EU this month, meaning the previously unregulated roaming costs are now covered by the caps. This will force data roaming charges down 93% for anyone travelling to Croatia. As an example, 1MB of data in July 2012 cost €6, but in July 2013 this was down to just 45 cents.

While much cheaper than it was a year ago, the cost of using your phone outside the EU is still higher than in the UK, so be careful of your usage. If you travel abroad a lot it might be worth checking out the new mobile network Toggle for a cheap and unique way of using your phone in Europe.

For more information on roaming, how to avoid large bills, and what to do if you're taking your phone abroad, check out our roaming help page