O2 will double roaming charges outside Europe by end November 2012

By Peter Gothard
31 Oct 2012 View Comments

A text message delivered to O2 subscribers in the UK this week has revealed an intention by the telecoms giant to raise the cost of making and receiving calls and using data outside Europe dramatically.

From 28 November 2012, receiving a call from the US to Europe will rise from 39 pence to 90 pence per minute, while making calls will go up from 90 pence to £1.10. Text messages will now cost 40 pence, where they previously cost 25 pence.

Further reading

Data will remain at the already high cost of £6 per MB.

There's worse news for users outside North America and Asia Pacific. Where it used to cost 60 pence to make a call from South Africa to Europe, it will now cost £1.50 per minute.

On 1 July 2012, the European Commission introduced roaming charge caps in new legislation aimed to save users up to 75 per cent of current roaming charges within Europe.

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the Commission, said at the time: "By putting price caps on data we have created a roaming market for the smartphone generation. More than that, we have ended the rip-offs familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone while travelling abroad. I am pleased that year after year the European Union is putting money back in the pockets of citizens."

O2's billing hike could be seen as a reaction to the Commision's decision; offsetting the reduced profits it it can make in Europe by making up the difference in the rest of the world where the EU regulation can't touch it.

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