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From July 1, 2014, Europeans traveling within the EU will no longer pay expensive roaming rates

Europeans will be able to use voice, texts and data within the EU for the same prices as their domestic service, following a ruling by the European Commission. The commission, which last year imposed significant caps on roaming rates charged to EU customers, will push the legislation through before the May 2014 European elections. The new rules will come into force on July 1, 2014.

More detailed proposals will be drawn up in the next six weeks, however the EC has already made the decision to effectively end roaming charges within Europe for EU mobile subscribers. Aside from the obvious benefits for travelers, The Telegraph reports that the move is intended to encourage a consolidation of Europe's 100+ network operators in favor of fewer, stronger carriers while increasing competition. With roaming fees out of the way, it'd be easier for existing networks to compete and collaborate across borders -- a process which might lead to more mergers between continental operators.

It's worth underscoring, however, that the EC decision won't affect roaming outside of Europe, nor will it have any impact on roaming fees imposed within Europe by non-EU carriers. So if you're traveling from the U.S. to Europe, for instance, your rates won't get any cheaper. Similarly, European subscribers can expect to get gouged should they roam outside of the EU.

Source: Wired, The Telegraph

There are 34 comments

Mayoo614 says:


A step in the direction. My faith in humanity is coming back.

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This is a step backwards! Now people will have no incentive to get on the larger carrier and will eventually make them go bankrupt. When that happens the quality of phone service in the EU will drop thus making it worse for consumers in the end.

bimsebasse says:

What the...?

Oddest reasoning this week.

yeah that was pure wtfsauce.

And why is it odd?

MysteryOil says:

Because in some countries even the smaller carriers have roaming options.

ScottColbert says:

Because it makes no damn sense.

Mayoo614 says:

Small and large carriers will all have the same chances thus creating competition and lowering prices.

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snowdroid83 says:

Good news. Very rare in today's society!!!

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KingGinger55 says:

Sucks that this doesn't work the other way around too. I'm an American but I'm going to england next year.

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Alex Dobie says:

If you have a GSM phone (or a world phone on Verizon), get yourself a PAYG SIM from Three. International calls aren't included, but you can get a month of unlimited data for £15 ($23)

at the present time, can a Three SIM roam in other EU countries without roaming fees?

where does one get a Three SIM? I'm in the US and will be flying into LHR next month.


Alex Dobie says:

Not on PAYG. You'll want to track down your nearest Three store. Shouldn't be hard to find.

MrLadoodle says:

You can always try supermarkets, they usually have Three SIMs you can pick up.

do supermarkets charge you for these PAYG sim cards?

MrLadoodle says:

You get the SIM for free at supermarkets if you top up. So if you get one, you can add £15 on it right there at the supermarket. I think.

I recommend you turn off data off your phone until you buy your plan however (dial 333 from the handset), as any data that goes before then will be charged.

last time i was in LHR i got a 3 sim from the airport, there was a vending machine in the arrivals lounge. Also several airport shops will have them. Don't worry, super easy.

Paul Spirn says:

What is the precise name/URL of vender of the data SIM card?
Thanks, PS

I got a sim and topped up at Carphone Warehouse when I was in London last year. It was a very painless experience. The only problem was that I had to take my Nexus One since the Verizon GNex wasn't going to work.

Also, don't try to top up on the automated phone menu unless you will have a UK address. That will be a frustrating experience.

lockload says:

No need to really pretty much any supermarket will sell a topup voucher whihc gives you a code to enter on the phone to topup

mathiasjk says:

Probably the best thing the EU has ever done.

MrLadoodle says:

Second best, ending war in Europe was the best.

Yeah, but I do not think EU had anything to do with the war...

MrLadoodle says:

It has stopped any more wars from happening. Hence the Nobel Peace Prize.

Madness87 says:

Lol at EU being worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize...

dplane says:

Only a matter of time before the EU starts using that as a jumping board to start charging some kind of new tax.

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ACADM says:

Excellent news, now I hope they do something similar with the energy companies as there's virtually a cartel operating in the UK with no competition.

Also people visiting the UK might want to get a free giffgaff sim, for £12 you can get unlimited data for a month, but you'll have to order it online before you go.

Nit3m4re says:

Ah of course, because people get charged more to use electricity and gas when they're abroad too. Oh wait.. no they don't?

But, as lame as my reply is, I do agree that we pay extortionate energy prices in the UK so I am actually with you on this lol.

Raveneo says:

This shit, could mean a lot of cool shit in the end. Hello! #IHeartTechnology

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As a consumer, I guess this is a good thing. :)

However, is it just me or does European Union have way too much power?

About high time! These kinds of obstacles are holding back Europe from competing with the US.

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reudyfam says:

Moving to Italy from the UK for 2-3 years next month, currently tied in to a 2 year contract on Vodafone. Anyone any ideas on what network is best in Italy? If only this ruling would come in this July.

arjunamin says:

I wish they implement a similar plan for US & Canada...or have slightly more reasonable roaming charges...

I mean currently they market 100 US roaming minutes for $40 on top of your monthly plan..which is quite expensive!