1. ITV Report

All you need to know about the drop in EU roaming costs

The cost of browsing the internet, sending a text message or making a call in a European Union country has dropped today.

Here is a guide to the new prices in the 'euro-tariff' and how to avoid high bills when you return from abroad.

What are the new charges for using my phone in the EU?

The cost of using your mobile phone in a European Union country will be considerably cheaper from today and the move comes in time for the summer holidays.

A woman uses her mobile phone on a Greek beach. Credit: Friso Gentsch/DPA

The 'euro-tariffs' will see costs capped at:

  • Outgoing calls will cost no more than 15p per minute
  • Incoming calls will cost no more than 4p per minute
  • Text messages will cost no more than 5p per message
  • Online browsing will cost no more than 16p per megabyte

The cost of using the internet in an EU country has fallen by over 50% with the previous cap set at 36p per megabyte.

The drop in prices will come as good news to the 25% of Britons who have been hit by a larger than normal bill after visiting a European country, uSwitch figures suggest.

Is there anything else I should know about the drop in EU roaming charges?

Neither Switzerland or Turkey are covered by the 'euro-tariff' caps and it is likely that you will be charged more for using a mobile phone in those countries.

Some 41% of Britons wrongly think Switzerland is in the EU while 38% believe Turkey is, according to uSwitch.

The EU roaming prices will not be in place if you are visiting Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: TURKPIX/TT News Agency

The comparison website also suggests that people who do not turn their data roaming off for a two week holiday in Turkey could face a bill of £258.

Roaming charges in the EU are set to be completely scrapped by late next year.

Does today's roaming price changes mean it will be cheaper to use my phone further afield?

The price cap applies only to EU countries and not to places further afield.

Data roaming costs will still be high in places further afield, like Thailand. Credit: Lisa Haynes/Press Association Images

Data roaming costs are particularly high in countries outside of Europe so it is important to plan how to combat costs in advance.

How can I keep my mobile costs down if I'm travelling abroad?

Your mobile phone contract will probably not cover usage in a foreign country so speak to your provider to see how to reduce costs.

Many operators have packages for using your phone abroad which are designed to offer discounted rates including lower data roaming charges.

Many operators have specific packages for using your phone abroad. Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

Another way to keep costs down is by buying a local SIM card and topping it up, according to uSwitch technology expert Ernest Doku.

Limit the damage by making the most of free Wi-Fi at hotels and cafes and keep data roaming switched off.

Don’t be tempted to opt out of caps imposed by your network, however much you want to connect to the internet on the go.

And, when it comes to calls and text messages, a great way to keep costs down to a minimum is to buy a local SIM card, put it in your phone and simply top it up.

– Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com

Here is a quick guide on how to switch off data roaming on an iPhone:

All mobile operators apply a cut-off limit once you have used around £40 of data per month no matter where you are in the world unless you request a different limit.

The provider must also alert you when your phone reaches 80% and then 100% of your data roaming limit.

Where can I go if I want more information?

For more information on using your phone abroad or the new EU roaming data charges, try these websites: