Select Page

Finally, a reduction in mobile phone costs throughout the EU!

Shocking mobile phone charges in the EU are coming down!The high costs of using your mobile abroad will hopefully soon be at an end. The EU has a target for 2015 that is aimed at eliminating the large differences between domestic and roaming rates.

Until then a new cap has been put in place, effective immediately. From July 1st customers are to pay no more than 32p a minute for outgoing calls and 10p a minute for incoming calls while within the EU. This is only a small reduction but every little helps, as they say!

A new price cap for data roaming will also be put in place which means prices will be no more than 90 cents per megabyte (MB) from July 2012, falling to 50 cents by July 2014.

This is all good news for the traveller, the would-be expat and the serial expat in the EU. Travelling abroad to find that new home can be an expensive business as is moving around in Europe for travel or work.

The high data roaming charges (which you don’t often find out about until you get home) really need reducing and these measures will certainly help.

Have you had a shocking phone bill from travelling abroad in the EU? Perhaps you didn’t know about your iPad charges until it was too late? Let us know.

Image: Ambro /


  1. Rich Polanco

    Hi Sarah! Thanks for visiting 🙂

    Interesting how things work in the EU. I have yet to travel across the pond. In the Americas, phones are practically disposable, and one can just buy a “throwaway” phone. This phone would be configured to receive calls forwarded via Skype and from the main carrier at the original home phone (to ensure same phone continuity with clients).

    Would this system work in the EU, or why not?


  2. Sarah

    Hi Rich

    I think that you could do that, but I think people in the UK are more attached to their mobile phones and don’t tend to use Skype in that way. Plus although you can receive calls via Skype you can’t really send them

    Just buying a phone and SIM every time you go somewhere is expensive and impractical. Most people use their mobile phones for everyday use so changing numbers would also be a hassle.

  3. Jeroen van Baardwijk

    When going abroad for any prolonged period of time, it will be cheaper to buy at least a local SIM card. Calling the folks back home will still be expensive (Skype is a great alternative), but receiving calls won’t cost you anything because the caller is paying all the fees. You’ll just have to let people know you can be reached at a different number when you’re abroad, and that’s as simple as mentioning it on your voice mail message.

    You don’t even have to buy a new phone, all you need to do is get the SIM-lock removed and then switch SIM cards. If that’s too much hassle you can still buy a new phone. But do you really need an expensive high-tech smartphone? When I lived in Belgium, I just bought the cheapest phone on the market — € 39.95 including € 15 prepaid credit. It saved me over € 100 per year compared to using my Dutch number.

  4. Sarah

    Yes, if you are moving somewhere for a while then definitely get a local mobile. Unfortunately my Portuguese mobile is locked so I couldn’t use it back in the UK without unlocking it. I have no idea if my new UK mobile is locked so I don’t know if I can use it Romania. However I will still use my UK mobile so I will be buying a new one anyway!

    It’s all a hassle, I know that much!

    I use Skype all the time but it doesn’t replace my mobile. However Skype is brilliant for expats (post coming soon).

  5. Al Bryant

    This is definitely good news. My wife and I relocated to Barcelona from the UK last year (we’re back now) and had a nightmare with phones. The main issue we had was that we both had mobile contracts that would have cost us at least £300 each to cancel so we ended up keeping them and budgeting them into our mmonthly costs. I’ve recently started a blog about our experience and have put together a post on keeping in touch with your friends and family in your native country (cost effective ways!). It’s based on our experience but might help out –

    • Sarah

      Contracts can be a nightmare to get out of. I’ve been using pay as you go for the past 10 years because I never know where I’m going to be next!


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.