EU: Operators Must Cap Data Roaming Prices

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Positive news for European mobile customers, less so for operators-- the European Parliament puts a retail cap on data roaming within the EU. 

EuropeFrom 1 July 2012 data service costs will have a 70 Euro cents per megabyte cap, before falling to 42c in 2013 and 20c on 1 July 2012. 

Voice calls will also see reductions-- 29c per minute from 1 July 2012 and 19c from July 2014, down from the current maximum of 35c.

"By putting price caps on data we have created a roaming market for the smartphone generation,” Commission VP Neelie Kroes says. 

From 2014 customers will also be able to purchase roaming packages from different operators, while EU citizens traveling outside the EU will get warning messages (via SMS, email or pop-window) when nearing data downloads costing over €50. 

The EC estimates business travelers will save over €1000 through such measures, while families on an annual vacation will save €200. 

While operators are furious over the changes (back at MWC 2012 Vodafone boss Vittoria Colao demanded the stop of cuts), one business will surely gain-- mobile app and content providers. The cheaper mobile internet is, the more users indulge in apps, location-based services and mobile video-on-demand. 

Go New Deal to Cut Mobile Roaming Prices, Including Data Services