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One Less Thing to Worry About on Your Holidays: Reduced Roaming Charges for EU Travellers

The EC first introduced European Union roaming regulations in 2007, and in doing so, capped roaming charges on mobile devices at 0.49 cents per minute for outgoing calls, though texting and data usage were largely unregulated as part of the original batch of regulations. Fortunately, the most recent update to the regulations features a far more comprehensive range of measures, ultimately allowing you to be far more relaxed with your mobile device usage when holidaying in countries located in the EEA.

Last month, the European Commission (EC) announced that a further update had been made to the existing European Union roaming regulations, which is excellent news for any holidaymakers thinking of making a trip to a country in the European Economic Area (EEA). With this in mind, it's worth emphasising that the EEA includes all 28 members of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.

Working to save you money

One of the most obvious improvements made by the further European Union roaming regulations that were introduced in June, is that every aspect of mobile roaming is covered; since 2009 the EC has been widening the umbrella to include more and more services, and now the full gamut are capped and covered by European law. In essence, whenever you clock up any network activity on your holiday you'll now be getting a better deal, so there no longer needs to be any additional horrendous expenses when you return home! At least as long as you don't go too crazy... The maximum wholesale price that can now be charged per 1 Megabyte of data is now 5 cents; a colossal saving of 95% over the original roaming data charge introduced in 2009, while also representing a 66.6% saving over the cap introduced in July last year. You can now feel considerably less guilty about those holiday snaps that you just simply had to upload! Similarly beneficial roaming caps have been introduced across the board, including a wholesale SMS cap of 2 cents per message, and a wholesale outgoing call cap of 5 cents a minute, with customers only being billed after the 30th second of the phone call. Inbound texts are now free across the board, while wholesale incoming calls are now charged at the standard non-roaming call rate of the visited network.

Moving towards a connected continent

This latest regulatory update by the EC is leading up to the long planned ''zero roaming charge'' policy that they have been planning for a few years now; which translates to even further savings for those looking to vacation in Europe! The EC's plans for a Connected Continent should come to fruition on 15th December 2015, in the form of a proposal, that if passed, would make roaming charges in the EU completely illegal.

Don't be complacent

Of course, with your mobile phone usage now even less stymied by extortionate roaming charges, it's important not to let the extra freedom go to your head. Using your mobile devices an inordinate amount in unfamiliar foreign climes could increase the chances of your device being stolen. Plus, increased uninhibited use may also increase the likelihood of your mobile device simply being misplaced or lost; cover yourself with a Gadget Extension to your travel insurance policy!

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