The new EU price cap on cross-border calls and text messages

Anyone in the EU that makes cross-border calls or sends SMS messages to elsewhere in Europe will be pleased to hear that a new maximum price will be implemented this month.

The European Commission announced that the cap will be in place across Europe, and will affect all calls and SMS messages being sent in the European Union.

What is the price cap?

The price cap came into effect on the 15th of this month, and applies to all telecom operators in all 28 member states. In addition, it will be implemented in Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein in the very near future.

It will cap all international calls made within the European Union to 19 cents per minute excluding VAT. SMS messages sent in the EU will cost a maximum of 6 cents excluding VAT.

At the moment, the new regulations will not apply to businesses. However, anyone using their mobile phone for personal use will be able to enjoy a reduction in the cost – and in some cases, could save a substantial amount of money going forward.

How much cheaper will it be?

In 2017, the EU ended roaming charges in Europe, which were fees applied to international calls made to other EU countries. Since then, using a mobile phone in any EU country is the same as using it in your home country.

However, the new change hopes to remove the discrepancies many people are facing between the cost of domestic calls and international EU calls.

For example, it’s estimated that, as it stands, a standard international call made between EU countries costs over three times more than a standard domestic one. And in some cases, it can cost up to ten times more.

Although consumers will end up paying more than the stated amount, due to differences in VAT rates between countries, the EU says that the average price reduction could be as high as 332% in some member states for phone calls, and 542% for SMS messages.

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