EU halts roaming rip-off

European mobile phone users should expect up to a 60% reduction in roaming bills when raveling though the European Union (EU) from today.

New price caps and regulations have taken affect across the 27 nation bloc which mandates a single tariff.

"The roaming rip-off is now coming to an end. Expect the new roaming rules to make it much cheaper to surf the web on your mobile while abroad in the EU." said EU telecommunications commissioner Viviane Reding. The new rules were formally adopted by EU ministers in June, which took effect as of July 1 in all 27 EU member states.

Under the new tariffs sending a text message, will drop from an average of 28 Euro cents to 11 cents. Prices for mobile roaming calls capped at 0.46 euro for calls made and 0.22 euro for calls received abroad, will be reduced to 0.43 euro for calls made and 0.19 euro for calls received abroad, effective from July 1. They will then drop to 0.39 euro and 0.15 euro on July 1, 2010, falling to 0.35 euro and 0.11 euro by July 1, 2011.

The new caps also reduce data roaming charges with the introduction of a wholesale cap of 1 euro per megabyte downloaded, compared to an average EU wholesale price of 1.68 euro per megabyte.