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european_union_flagThe EU’s new directive on the cost of using mobile phones in Europe has finally come into force. Intended to address the growing issue of ‘bill shock’ (where you arrive home to find that some light web browsing has run up a mortgage-sized bill with your phone company), the €50 per month price cap will seek to limit the cost of using a smartphone to access the internet or emails when visiting other EU states.

Which? mobile expert Ceri Stanaway said the cap on costs was a good thing for consumers.

“The EU’s €50 data roaming cap will provide a safety net for mobile users who might otherwise be caught out by the high cost of using the mobile internet on holiday,” Stanaway said.

She also welcomed the further cuts to the cost of making and receiving calls.

“However the cost of calls, texts and mobile internet remains high compared to using your mobile in the UK,” she added. “Make sure you know the charges and only spend what you can afford.”

Suneet S Tuli, CEO of DataWind (which makes wireless web access products such as the UbiSurfer and PocketSurfer mobile devices) said the new regulations are not as clear as they could be.

“Operators around the world are charging between €1 and €20 per MB for roaming data.  Even at €1 Euro per MB, with a 3G device consuming 30 to 40MB per hour, the €50 Euro limit could be reached in a little over an hour.”