The European Union has taken another step towards the goal of removing roaming charges completely by December next year, subject to approval by national governments. From today the maximum charge per minute for an outgoing call in non-home countries will fall from 24 euro cents to 19. Since this time in 2012 the price has been reduced by 10 cents from 29 cents. Incoming calls are now capped at five cents per minute and texts at six cents.
The biggest drop is reserved for data which is now capped at 20 cents per Megabyte. However, unwary downloaders should remember that this still represents a hefty €205 per Gigabyte. In practice, most operators offer to cap daily expenditure at a more reasonable limit of, say, €40 or €50 and are obliged to warn users when they have exceeded 80 percent of this allowance.
There are many other deals available. For instance, Vodafone currently offers a fixed £2 per day roaming charge which allows UK users to spend up to the limit of their home contract without extra expense. For the time being, this is as good as it gets.
The good news from all this is that bills will fall, even without special deals from the phone companies. But care is still needed if unpleasant shocks are to be avoided.