After years of contention and thousands of people returning from their holidays to receive unexpectedly high mobile phone bills, new EU legislation which came in to force on the 1 July, capping the cost of roaming charges for calls and text messages at Euro 50 and the wholesale of mobile broadband, has been welcomed by consumers and industry commentators alike.
However despite 3 and Vodafone recently announcing price reductions for using mobile broadband services abroad, Rob Webber, commercial director at comparison site, Broadband Expert, said that mobile broadband consumers are still receiving a raw deal.
Webber explained that many Brits have already run up huge bills whilst using mobile broadband devices abroad, including one customer who received a bill for in excess of £20,000 earlier this year. According to Webber, while Vodafone may currently be leading the way in making mobile broadband usage abroad more affordable, it is still prohibitively expensive, particularly for any activity involving downloading large amounts of data.
For example, Webber said that downloading an episode of EastEnders while abroad, but still inside the EU, could range from around £65 to £1,600, dependent on which mobile broadband provider the downloader is with.
The cost of downloading an episode of EastEnders (around 320MB) on BBC iPlayer outside of the EU costs between £2,400 (T-Mobile) and £194.87 (Vodafone) and between £1,600 (Virgin Mobile) and £64.87 (Vodafone) in EU countries.
Broadband Expert is urging all mobile broadband providers to follow Vodafone’s lead in scrapping roaming charges for mobile calls and also lowering mobile data charges, by significantly bringing down the cost of mobile broadband use abroad.