Today marks a win for the average mobile phone user. A deal is now in place to cap the wholesale charges operators can charge each other. Roaming charges within the EU could be gone as soon as June this year.

OK, what does that actually mean?

Look at it this way. A Meteor Ireland customer goes on holidays to Spain, and roams on Movistar. Movistar would then charge Meteor Ireland for providing coverage to their customer. These charges were then passed on in the form of roaming charges. Plus a little extra on top. Today’s ruling means that there is a limit to what operators can charge each other for their customers using services while abroad. This is key, as it was a major stumbling block to abolishing roaming charges for good.

How will this affect my bill?

With a doubt, it’ll be in a positive way. Bill shock after travelling in Europe will soon become a thing of the past. Network operators won’t have to pay large sums for their customers to roam. This means charges won’t be passed down to anyone who is roaming. Everyone wins.

What will roaming charges for consumers be?

Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure what the consumer roaming charges will be. Today’s ruling deals with the wholesale charges between operators. This is just a stepping stone to roaming charges leaving us forever. Using a gigabyte of data is now capped at €7.70 from June. This will drop to €2.50 within 5 years. Calls will also drop to 3.2c per minute. While text messages will go to just 1c.

When will this happen?

phone on a beach enjoying removal of roaming chargesToday’s deal is a key element in getting rid of roaming charges for good. It is worth noting that the deal is still provisional. However, it is expected to pass through the European Parliament in the next few weeks. This could mean that roaming charges are gone by the time summer holidays are here. You’ll be able to share all the beach snaps on Facebook without worrying about your bank balance. Just try not to share any mankini pictures… Jon.

It might not appear so, but the agreement made today is a huge win for consumers. Roaming charges are the bane of the life of any would-be traveller. Roam like your at home is that bit closer to becoming a reality.