Cheaper EU roaming fees come into force

Using mobile phones within the European Union is now significantly cheaper, as a new law to cap costly roaming charges have come into force.

The European Commission said the cap will make using a phone within the EU up to 77 percent cheaper ahead of the complete abolition of roaming charges in June 2017.

Under the new rules, calls received while on roaming will cost just over one cent a minute, compared to the five cents being charged before. A text message will also cost the same as while at home.

The rules now set the principle of net neutrality rules for the first time in EU law.

An agreement between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council essentially means that roaming charges will cease to exist in the EU as from next June.

When travelling in the EU, mobile phone users will pay the same price as at home, with no extra charges.

For a decade, the Commission has continuously been working to decrease roaming charges within the EU. Prices for roaming calls, SMS and data have fallen by 80 percent since 2007. Data roaming is now up to 91 percent cheaper compared to 2007.

To abolish roaming charges a series of technical conditions will have to be fulfilled, but the EC has said it is fully committed to implementing those conditions and making sure that the end of roaming charges is operational as of day one.