I’m taking a two-week holiday in France in July. I’ve heard that the EU has scrapped extortionate mobile phone roaming charges. Is that right? And if so, what will I pay for calls, texts and data in France? Mike, Hastings
The EU has been trying to harmonise mobile phone prices across Europe for the past decade. But on 6th April, the European Parliament voted through an important law that will finally see this come into effect – from 15th June this year. That means it should have been triggered by the time you go on holiday in July.
Basically, it means EU citizens won’t be charged extra for using their mobile phones anywhere within the EU. So if you have a monthly package with free minutes, texts and data, the calls, texts and data used while you’re in another EU country will come from your normal allowance, as if you were at home, with no extra charges. Unfortunately, this bonus could be short-lived. No one knows yet whether Brits will still be able to roam freely in the EU following our exit in 2019.
Most UK phone operators have been anticipating this change for a while and have already cut EU roaming charges and put competitive tariffs in place. Some of these offer calls, texts and various amounts of data at no extra cost in European countries that aren’t in the EU, like Norway and Switzerland, and even further afield. It’s worth shopping around if you’re planning to take a holiday in, say, Australia, America or the Far East, and want to use your phone to keep in touch.