Three has announced a new EU-wide data roaming rate that offers unlimited internet access for just £5 per day.
The new tarrif, called Euro Internet Pass, will come as a welcome move for iPhone owners, who struggle with data roaming charges while abroad. While the cost of EU roaming has fallen (mostly thanks to European wide legislation) the cost of using internet on a mobile phone abroad is still much higher than most people are willing to pay. The current legal maximum is now €1 per megabyte, with a €50 per day maximum charge.
Thomas Malleschitz, marketing director at Three said, “We love the mobile internet at Three and we want our customers to enjoy it on holiday as much as they do at home. The Euro Internet Pass gives our customers the freedom to use the internet in the EU without having to think about how many megabytes or gigabytes they are using or where the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot is.
"We’ve been campaigning for lower data roaming rates and welcome the new regulation from Europe. These changes promote competition and allow us to offer our customers a better deal so they no longer have to worry about running up a massive bill when using the internet”.
An iPhone can easily use between 10 and 20 megabytes per day, however, adding approximately €140 per week to the cost of a holiday. Far more than most people pay. The charge for outside the EU on Thee is £3 per megabyte, and some networks charge up to £5 per megabyte when using data around the world (in areas such as the United States).
Exhorbitant data charges stunned smartphones owners in previous years, with one user claiming to have received a bill for £1,500 after a trip to the United States.
To use the new Euro Internet Pass customers simply need to wait for the SMS message they receive when in a European country, then follow the link provided. Three advises that you turn Data Roaming On but Notifications off while setting up the service (so as not to be charged for using data while you set up the Euro Internet Pass).
The move is a good one, but we still suggest users turn off Data Roaming in Settings > General > Cellular as a matter of course. This feature should be switched off by default, but only ever turn it on when you are happy to pay the costs or using a flat tarrif such as this.