27th October 2015
European MPs have voted to scrap mobile phone roaming charges in the EU from June, 2017, but experts have warned that providers will try to find other ways to make consumers pay.
Today’s ruling by MEPs in Strasbourg, means that the end is finally in sight for sky-high mobile bills when travelling in Europe.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com says: “Today all the toing and froing is finally over, putting the stops on bill shock for those travelling within the EU, when roaming charges are scrapped from June 2017.
“This could be a major win for consumers who have been especially vulnerable to roaming charges since the smartphone market exploded and mobile data consumption soared.
“Bill shock from holidaying in the EU affects more than 9 million UK mobile users a year according to our research.
However, Doku warns that mobile customers should not be celebrating yet.
He says: “The major concern is if and how mobile operators will recover their costs because we all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
“If this regulation change isn’t properly managed, higher mobile phone bills for all may just prove to be the sting in the tail, with infrequent travellers drawing the short straw.
“If price rises do follow, consumers can show their disapproval by moving to another network.”
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, adds: ”The long-awaited move to scrap EU mobile roaming charges is a huge win for millions of travellers, especially those who have faced expensive charges for data roaming. This should put an end to uncertainty about using your mobile abroad and cut off bill shock. We now want the Commission to ensure that the industry doesn’t increase other charges and reform of the wholesale market is completed on time.”