updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu May 14, 2009
Vodafone cuts roaming fees
Vodafone UK has announced a new promotion, Vodafone Passport, that will allow customers to make calls or send text and picture messages without paying roaming charges as they travel across 35 countries in Europe this summer. The carrier will also reduce prices for international calls. The changes apply to pay-as-you-go or monthly subscribers, beginning June 1st and running until the end of August.
It is unknown if the promotion involves meeting upcoming European Commission guidelines that place a cap on fees for calls, roaming and data, beginning July 1st. Late last month the EU approved the plan, which is designed to combat "rip off" practices for roaming fees in Europe. Carriers also must allow subscribers to choose a self-imposed limit that will cut off service when roaming charges reach a certain point.
Roaming limitations have been reduced to €0.43 for outbound calls or €0.19 for inbound. Internet access out of the country is restricted to €1 per megabyte, while the text message cap of €0.11 is less than half the current average.
Current Vodafone UK subscribers can sign up for the Passport program by dialing 5555 from their mobile phone.