Activating your Mobile Phones Eurotariff

By: Gary Parsons

Just a few months ago, mobile phone operators were ordered to reduce the rates they charged customers to make and receive calls when travelling within the EU.

Operators were asked to offer customers their newly agreed Eurotariff by the end of July; with networks agreeing to switch all respondents by 30th August. The remaining customers should then expect to be switched over sometime during September, receiving a notification when this has been completed. This does not however apply to those who already have similar plans activated and should check with their network provider before travelling.

The EU Commission has set a limit of 38p per minute for calls made and at 19p per minute for calls received when travelling abroad. Many operators have chosen to fall inline with the guidelines whilst others have made a significant reduction. The reason for this is could be due to three price limits being set over the next few years, meaning calls will eventually drop below or equal to 29p and 19p by 2009.

If you're on 3 then you will be paying the lowest costs. Currently they are charging 25p per minute to make calls and 10p per minute to receive them. This makes them the cheapest operator to use when travelling abroad.

O2 are the second cheapest network operator to use when travelling within the EU. They currently charge 35p per minute to make calls and 18p to receive them. Whilst this isn't a great saving compared to the limits set by the EU Commission, they do work out as one of the cheaper providers.

Unfortunately Orange, T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile have chosen to keep their rates as high as possible, meaning that calls made from these networks will be at the EU commission's maximum limit of 38p per minute and 19p to receive them.

Be careful though, whilst the rates on voice calls have been reduced in many cases by around 50%, data and other charges still remain high and are worth checking before you travel.

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