EUROPE / SPAIN The word 'abroad' as used here applies to countries outside Spain. The EU last year began the lengthy procedure to eventually get agreements from the mobile phone operators about the cost of Europe-wide roaming. The new measure should be in place and operational on July 1. However, the advantages for consumers are scheduled to get even better from 2014, according to one source. In any case, this is the third time the EU has come together to lower roaming costs, the first two in 2007 and 2009. So, from July 1st, calling Spain from abroad will cost 29 centimes per minute, down from €0.35. Text messages go down from 11 centimos to 9. Data generation for late-model mobile phones and tablets, have been agreed at €0.70 per MegaByte (Mb) for 2012 and down to €0.20 as from 2014.>>>
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The European Commissioner for Digital Media, Neelie Kroes, said that consumers are 'fed up with being robbed' by the operators with roaming costs. The negotiations mean that as from 2014, consumers will be able to choose a local operator, different from their home-based one if they want, without the move costing anything at all. Local operators will also be able to offer their own incentives to attract roaming customers.
And also, a text alert system will be in place to warn consumers when their costs have reached the €50 mark - or at a pre-established amount set by the consumer - in order to avoid the kind of surprise (fright?) that can come when using the Internet on your mobile phone or other gadget. This, however, is still to be ratified by the Ministers of Industry of the 27 members.
The ultimate aim, according to Kroes, is to eliminate all roaming tariffs in the medium term, so that the cost of calls, texts and Internet cost exactly the same as in one's home country.