back to article Operators race to pre-empt Euro data roaming cap

Five operators across Europe have banded together and agreed to cut wholesale data rates to €.25 per megabyte. The agreement should reduce customer prices over the next 12 months, though whether that will be enough to fend off the formidable Ms Reding remains to be seen. Riding a tide of good publicity from last year's cap on …


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  1. Matt


    Having worked on a system to handle international roaming I can tell you that it costs the mobile phone company almost nothing to run and relatively little to develop. Before the caps it used to be a huge winner in terms of € spent against € earned. After the caps it's still pretty good.

    It's nice to see a government body doing something useful for once, but personally I'd like to see roaming charges abolished altogether (within the EU).

    I don't suppose there's any chance of a UK body doing something helpful like this? Even abolishing the "unlimited" limited connection nonsense would be a start.

  2. AJ

    Anything That Saves Consumers Money...

    ... Is fine by me!

    We pay far too much for texts when abroad anyway. I dont understand why a company will say its 20p per MMS but charge you 40p if you send it as standard SMS - You call plans should be valid abroad, no roaming, if you get free texts you use them if in the EU!!!!

  3. Tim

    forget roaming charges, investigate home data rates

    What I'd like to see investigated is the home data rates operators charge.

    How on earth can they justify the £2 or £3 per Mb rates just for UK? !! (looking at you Orange!).

    Daily caps are okay apart from the likes of Orange ignore your request to be put on such a rate and worse by default they sting you for £3 per Mb or more if you don't set a rate.

    On the roaming front though, caps on the extra charge are good, but the operators own daily caps are not applied when roaming, so when you pay a flat £1 per day or whatever in the UK, you could be back to paying archaic "per Mb" rates abroad.

    And of course none of these caps apply out side the EU.

    £8 per Mb for US data Orange say? No chance mate! Thankfully I have WiFi on the phone, and at least in the US I can find free or cheap hotspots in cafes, hotels and major cities, unlike most of the "fleece the customer" operator run hotspots in the UK.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    25 cents a MB - WTF

    25 Cents / MB wholesale, still a total rip off. That's 250 Euro per GB.

    To send a 4.7GB DVDR full of information anywhere in Europe it would be much cheaper to pay someone to physically fly to/from the destination, stay in a hotel overnight and deliver the data in person, I imagine that would also be quicker.

  5. Stuart
    Thumb Up

    Make More Money

    Its hard to imagine anybody using data roaming - except by accident.

    Whereas '3' Pay to Play & T-Mobile's Web'n'Walk are good deals that I have no problem enjoying. Why don't they want my business when I'm abroad?

    Goodness - I can WiFi for free at many bars/restaurants - and in the cheapest hotel chains (take a bow B&B et Premiere Classe). I am willing to pay a little for the extra convenience of not being in a bar or a hotel - God am I that sad? - But not a lot. Enough for a decent margin for the networks.

  6. Menno
    Gates Horns

    AC: You think that's expensive?

    Just checked what KPN will charge me for using Google Maps on my PDA in Budapest: €1,19 per 100 kB. Outside EU: €2,98 per 100 kB.

    It's legalised robbery! I remember the story of the guy who listened to Internet radio via GPRS on his laptop. When he came home, he had to pay his holiday again...

  7. Andy

    Why aren't they looking at the price of SMS

    which is really a total rip.

  8. countrylad

    It's a damn sight better than

    ... the £3 per MB it costs me now to roam into Europe with my 3 USB modem. And, to be honest, at three quid at least I knew what I was getting into and could be prepared for it. Any improvement on that (and 25 cents is a hell of an improvement!) has to be good!

  9. Owen Kerr

    3 takover the EU

    Just need 3 to start a few more networks in the EU, handy using google maps on the phone when in Italy and Ireland and still just using included data with X series, I could even use it in Oz if it wasn't so far away.

  10. Nigel Jones
    Thumb Down

    Too much risk

    Personally I'd like to see some flat-rate offerings and/or operators allowing user-defined caps. The biggest issue with data roaming today is the risk factor - so easy to spend a fortune.

    Something like 20 UKP / 1 Gb / 1 month would prob do me ;-). Actually even 50,100,300 Mb would prob be ok.

    (In Uk thanks to 3UK I of course get up to 2Gb for 5 UKP pcm...)

  11. P. Lee
    Paris Hilton

    Anyone know why roaming costs more?

    It isn't like a voice connection where you need to maintain the IP address your "home telco" would give you. Just send an SMS with the local telco's data charge rates and hand off data connections to the local mobile telco & their internet connection.

    Paris, because she has some better ideas than some corporates...

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