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By: MarkJ - 30 June, 2009 (7:19 AM)
Mobile operator Three (3) UK has introduced what appears to be one of the country's lowest priced standard 'per MB' (MegaByte) Mobile Broadband EU data roaming rates - £1.25 per every 1MB. By comparison the EU proposed a wholesale cap of 1Euro (£0.84) per 1MB (related news). Three (3) has also provided a useful price comparison graphic for the UK's five main operators.

eu data roaming rates - uk operators

The comparison is obviously based on information that exists now, although we fully expect the other UK mobile operators to lower their prices to be in line with the new 1st July 2009 rates too.

John Eccleston, Head of Communication and Mobile Products at 3 UK says:
“We don’t expect our customers to drastically change the way they use their phone or dongle, just because they’re abroad. If they want to update their Facebook status or send an email, likewise if they’re just making a call, they shouldn’t be stung by over the top, complex pricing.

“That’s why we’ve made our standard European rates simple to understand. They’re the same no matter which EU country you’re in at any time of the year, and most importantly of all, for our customers accessing the internet while they’re away, they’re the best all-round value on the market.”

Also from the 1st of July, Three (3) UK customers who roam onto the operator’s sister network in the Republic of Ireland will receive a special 10p rate. Calls to any standard UK landline or mobile will cost 10p per minute, texts are 10p each and data will be charged at 10p per MB. This promotion is available until 31st January 2010.

Still, for the average consumer, roaming prices remain prohibitively high even if they have improved. It will be some years yet before operators in Europe have a wide enough deployment of hopefully similar technologies to truly be able to turn this situation around. For now, data usage abroad is best avoided.
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