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New EU-wide roaming charges in effect

Phoning in CannesThe long-announced roaming charges on mobile phone calls and text messages are now in effect. Since July 1, visitors to Cannes (and indeed anyone travelling within the EU) will benefit from lower charges thanks to new regulations introduced by the EU Commission. The broad outline of the measures mean that:
* the price for sending a text message while abroad is limited to €0.11. Receiving an SMS in another EU country will remain free of charge.
* the cost of surfing the web and downloading movies or video programs with a mobile phone while abroad has a maximum wholesale cap of €1 per megabyte downloaded. This limit will be decreased each year.
* The new rules will also protect consumers from “bill shocks” by introducing a cut-off mechanism once the bill reaches €50, unless they choose another cut-off limit. Operators have until March 2010 to put this cut-off limit in place.
* prices for mobile roaming calls are reduced to a maximum tariff of €0.43 for making a call and €0.19 for receiving one.
* Introduce per second billing after the first 30 seconds for calls made and immediately for calls received.

* Limits the price for sending a text message while abroad at €0.11. Receiving an SMS in another EU country will remain free of charge.
* Reduces the cost of surfing the web and downloading movies or video programs with a mobile phone while abroad by introducing a maximum wholesale cap of €1 per megabyte downloaded. This limit will be decreased each year.
* The new rules will also protect consumers from “bill shocks” by introducing a cut-off mechanism once the bill reaches €50, unless they choose another cut-off limit. Operators have until March 2010 to put this cut-off limit in place.
* Further reduces prices for mobile roaming calls with a maximum tariff of €0.43 for making a call and €0.19 for receiving one.
* Introduce per second billing after the first 30 seconds for calls made and immediately for calls received.
* Ensure that citizens are kept adequately informed of the charges that apply for data roaming services.

Apparently, a German downloading a TV programme while roaming in France recently faced a bill of €46,000. I still wonder how much this would cost under the new EU Commission-backed rates.

To find out more about the cost of phoning when in Cannes, visit the EU Commission’s list of countries and operators.

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