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Quarter of mobile users in UK believe its free to roam in EU

James Pearce
April 21, 2016

Figures from uSwitch comes as European Commission set to introduce new roaming caps from April 30, before abolishing charges next year

More than a quarter of mobile users in the UK believe it is currently free to use their device anywhere in the EU, according to figures from uSwitch.

The European Commission is set to lower roaming charges on April 30 when it introduces new caps, but the price comparison site found 27 per cent of Brits already believe they can roam for free.

The new caps will restrict mobile providers to charging a maximum of the domestic price plus ‚¬0.05 per minute for a call, ‚¬0.02 to send a text and ‚¬0.05 per MB of data used.

Despite the falling costs, 62 per cent of Brits said they were afraid to use their device in other EU countries because of bill shock. 34 per cent do not use their phone at all.

From June 2017, the EC will abolish roaming costs across the EU completely, though with the question of a Brexit looming over the UK, it remains to be seen if UK operators will be required to abolish these charges.

Commenting on the upcoming changes to EU mobile roaming caps, Ernest Doku said: “Waiting until June 2017 for EU roaming to incur no additional cost is both frustrating and confusing for mobile users. But there is a silver lining – this should be the final price drop before roaming charges are abolished in the EU for good.

“These price drops are especially good news for any Brits planning a summer trip to the Continent – and football fans heading to France for the Euros, too ­– but until EU roaming charges are fully abolished consumers should still be aware of the pitfalls.

“For example, a £40 cap applied by networks and designed to protect mobile users from bill shock only covers charges for data, and not calls or text messages. Our research reveals that more than a quarter of mobile customers who know about the £40 cap are completely unaware of this.

“We’d like to see more transparency in the form of real-time updates on out of tariff charges and reminder notifications after users have opted out of automatic caps.”

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