The European Union decided to drop its cell phone roaming rates earlier this month in an effort to help people communicate within the region. In some areas, the fees were lowered by as much as 50%.
Roaming charges are issued to European residents when they use their phones in other countries in the Union. They impact the fees people pay for making calls, using the Internet and sending text messages. The 28 member countries are making an effort to unite the entire region onto one telecommunications infrastructure so consumers are not charged extra when crossing their country’s borders.
Cell phone companies have already begun increasing their fees for phone usage outside of the European Union as a way to offset these decreases. Some analysts suggest the change in fee structure may not have much of an impact on phone usage since many consumers are already accustomed to not using their phones while roaming. They may not use the phone if they are unaware of the fee change.
“The new ruling won’t have a massive impact on the market. People still haven’t got used to using roaming abroad,” Jessica Ekholm, an analyst with Gartner, a technology firm, told The New York Times.
She also pointed out that 40% of Britons do not use roaming charges while overseas.