Staying connected when you’re travelling internationally can be a pain. WiFi isn’t always available, and the only thing stopping you from relying on your ever trusty smartphone is extremely high roaming data charges. Members of the European Parliament and the Danish Presidency of the Council of Ministers have come to an agreement over data price caps that will come into effect from July 1st this year.
Right now, there is no price ceiling on what a megabyte of data can cost when roaming. Under the terms of the new deal, from July 1st the cap would be 70 cents, dropping to 45 cents in 2013, and 20 cents in 2014. Prices for calls and SMS will also be reduced. A one minute call would not exceed 29 cents from July 1st, dropping to 19 cents by 2014. Messages would be capped at 9 cents this year, and down to 6 cents by 2014.
Aside from lower data prices, consumers will be able to shop around local carriers and choose the best roaming deal. Customers would be sidestep the extra roaming data add-ons currently offered by carriers and choose the best data plan without incurring any charge from the main carrier. It wouldn't affect any existing data plan or roaming agreement, either.
That plan unfortunately won’t come into effect until July 1st 2014, but you can look forward to reduced roaming costs in the meantime. The vote for the deal still needs to be approved by Parliament in May, although MEPs and the Council believe it will pass without any trouble.
[via European Parliament News]