Mobile data charges will be price capped starting July 1, 2012, with the limit set at no more than $0.88 (0.70 Euros) per megabyte , representing a decline of about 75 percent, at least for European Union residents using their devices in other EU member countries.
The EU rule does not affect the prices providers can charge for data roaming outside the European Union. Though Strand Consult recently argued that fast-developing technology and robust competition have provided consumers benefits, not EU regulators, it wouldn’t be fair to make that claim here.
It’s still possible, however, to argue that long-term impact might not be so favorable, particularly if the lower prices lead to less investment, lower ability to provide customer service or other effects caused by lower overall revenue.
The new European Union law means that prices for making a call abroad will be lowered to 29 cents per minute, while it will cost eight cents to receive a call, nine cents to send a text and 70 cents per MByte of download data used. This is a savings of 75 percent compared to roaming costs in 2007.
Vodafone "Euro Traveller" allows U.K. customers to pay no more for calls, messages and data when they're on the continent as they do at home, after an opt-in payment of $4.68 (£3) a day.
The Everything Everywhere brand will offer customers the opportunity to buy "Travel Boosters" when they use their smartphones or 3G modems overseas.
Smartphone owners can pick 3, 10 or 50MB bundle for £1, £2.50 and £10, respectively – or 33p, 25p or 20p per megabyte. Each bundle lasts for 30 days or until the data has been used, whichever comes first.
For modem owners, the price bands are 3, 20, 50 and 200MB, priced at £1, £5, £10 and £35, respectively. Again, that's 33p, 25p, 20p and 17.5p a megabyte.
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Edited by Braden Becker