New EU limits to cut mobile phone roaming fees have come into force this week, marking another victory in a Lib Dem campaign to stop 'bill shocks' for travellers.

Smartphone bbcThe new rules cut the cost of data roaming by over a third and further reduce the cost of making calls and text messages when visiting another EU country.

Welcoming the changes, Phil Bennion commented:

"This is another victory for our long-running campaign to cut the cost of using phones and laptops in other EU countries and outlaw exorbitant extra charges which can catch people out.

"These new rates come just in time for people heading for their summer holidays and will help reduce risk of 'bill shocks' from mobile phones using overseas networks.

"Thanks to the new EU cap, the cost of data usage, checking emails, social networks or GPS maps while abroad in another EU country will no longer be prohibitively expensive.

"It is also good news that phone companies will have to slash roaming charges to Croatia, which is a really popular destination with British holidaymakers but used to be really expensive.

"Checking Google maps for instance or a similar service on a smartphone in Croatia used to cost £5, just to do it once. Croatia joined the EU on Monday, so tourists should find their roaming fees in Croatia 90% cheaper than last year."

"But there is still some way to go. Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament have been leading the campaign to end roaming charges in Europe once and for all.

"Thanks to the support of EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is a Liberal, legislation to achieve this goal could be delivered next year."


Note: The latest cuts came into force on Monday, when the maximum cost of making a call fell by a fifth to 24 euro cents a minute or just over 20p, plus the VAT rate applicable in the relevant EU country.

The biggest change is to data charges - the cost of using the internet or applications linked to it. Data charges fall by roughly a third to 45 euro cents per megabyte or about 38.5p, plus VAT.

All reductions only apply within the borders of the European Union - so Switzerland, Norway and other countries not in the EU are not included.