EU gets tough on text and data roaming

Holidaying on the continent this summer? It could soon be cheaper to text home and check your emails while you're there.As we reported last month, mov

As we reported last month, moves are afoot to cap the amount we pay to send texts or use data when roaming. Now it appears that could happen sooner than we dared hope.

The EU's telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding, has been wagging her finger at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, telling operators they need to cut their charges by 1 July or face the consequences.

On texts, she'll accept nothing higher than a three Euro Cent premium – so no more than 2p on top of your usual text charge. When it comes to data she wants clearer tariffs, an overall reduction and at least one option for frequent roamers to pay a sensible rate.

The GSM Association is already squirming, but as we know from talk charges the EU doesn't make idle threats. We await the response with penny-pinching interest.

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