The roaming prices will be lower from 1st July

From 1st July 2011 to 30 June 2012 EU mobile operators will again be obliged to lower retail prices for roaming calls in line with EU rules first introduced in 2007 and amended in 2009. The EU regulated "Eurotariff" will imply no more than 35 cents per minute for calls made and 11 cents per minute for calls received while abroad in the EU.

The last in the series of regulated price cuts under the current EU Roaming Regulation will start in July and will expire end June 2012. From 1st July 2011 the cap for data roaming wholesale prices (the price which operators charge each other) will fall to 50 cents per MegaByte (down from 80 cents per MB). The current Regulation does not establish a retail price cap for data services. In addition, the maximum retail prices (excl. VAT) for roaming calls will be reduced during the period. They will fall from the current 39 cents to 35 cents per minute for calls made and from 15 cents to 11 cents per minute for calls received.

The Commission published in June 2010 a report indicating that the current rules did not solve the underlying problem of lack of competition in roaming services and prices remained stubbornly close to the retail caps. This creates the need for a new regulatory intervention with a view to meeting, in a durable way, the target set in the Digital Agenda for Europe that the difference between roaming and national telecoms tariffs should approach zero by 2015. Such a target will be met if competition in mobile markets gives consumers a rapid and easy choice of roaming service at, or close to, a relevant competitive domestic price level.

The caps on roaming prices were introduced in 2007 by the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, ensuring that mobile phone subscribers pay similar roaming tariffs across the EU. In July 2009, they adopted revised rules that cut roaming prices further in instalments so that by July 2011 the maximum roaming charges would be 35 cents per minute for calls made and 11 cents for calls received while abroad. Furthermore, the Commission will present soon a proposal for a long-term solution to the structural problems in the markets for voice, text and data roaming. The 2009 roaming rules will apply until the end of June 2012.