Data Roaming Prices Continue to Fall Across the European Union

By Gsma, PRNE
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LONDON, June 30, 2011 -

- Mobile
broadband users able to benefit from increasingly attractive
roaming rates

Laptop and smartphone users in the European Union are able to
benefit from increasingly attractive roaming prices, according to
data collected from 101 mobile operator websites from the period
6-10 June 2011.

The GSMA’s Data Roaming Price Basket Index, released today,
tracks market movements in data roaming prices as offers are
constantly revised and new ones are launched. It takes the best
deals by operator and by market and translates these into per MB
prices for a range of different user profiles. For example, the
June Index illustrates that the European average of best available
postpaid tariffs is less than a euro per MB (euro 0.94) for a
medium usage 10MB basket(1).

The Index will be published every two months to provide EU
legislators with a current snapshot of dynamism and pricing
innovation in the retail data roaming market. That dynamism is
reflected in the latest figures, which show the average of each
operator’s best data roaming tariffs dropped almost 20% between
April and June. The increasing variety of differently structured
offers is also a strong indicator of a market that is competitive,
growing fast and finding its feet.

“The Index will provide legislators and regulators with a ‘look
forward’ complement to BEREC’s six-month retrospective reports(2),”
said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA.  ”It
underscores the current market trends that will feed through into
the offers that consumers will enjoy tomorrow.”

Further highlights from the research, which was undertaken for
the GSMA by A.T. Kearney, the global management consultancy,

  • For 5, 10 and 50MB usage baskets, postpaid prices now average
    between euro 0.69-1.19 per MB and prepaid prices now average
    between euro 1.47-1.66 per MB.
  • The average heavy user, who is most likely to shop around for
    the best deal, can get 100MB of roaming data allowance for euro
    per MB with the best available tariff.

“Demand for mobile data services abroad is soaring as consumers
look to enjoy the convenience of mobile broadband when they travel.
These price movements are good news for consumers and evidence that
operators in this fast-growing, innovative market are increasingly
responsive to consumer demand for value,” continued Phillips.

In developing the Data Roaming Price Basket Index, A.T. Kearney
undertook the following approach:

  • Data was collected from tariffs available at 90 operators’
    websites from 28 March to 6 April 2011 and at 101 operator websites
    from 6 to 10 June 2011;
  • The exercise identified 223 and 293 different mobile/smartphone
    data roaming tariffs for April and June;
  • Operators from the 27 EU member states were included in the
    April Index, with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
    also included in the June Index;
  • A basket approach was followed to determine the resulting price
    per MB;
  • Three baskets, chosen to reflect the user profiles of different
    data roaming users were selected to illustrate the results (5MB,
    10MB and 50MB);
  • The price per MB was calculated taking into consideration the
    full price of the bundle if the basket is smaller than the bundle
  • For each country, and for each usage case, the following were

    • The lowest available price per MB based on the best tariff from
      a single operator;
    • The best average price per MB based on a weighted average price
      of the lowest price tariff for each operator (weighted by each
      operator’s market share).

EU/EEA prices for each use case were then aggregated by
weighting the average prices per country with the number of
national mobile subscriptions. The full methodology and underlying
data are available at href="">

Notes to editors:

(1) 1MB is equivalent to:

  • Sending/receiving 10 emails without attachments, or
  • 1 email with attachments, or
  • 5 mins of web browsing, or
  • Sending 3-5 photos taken with smartphone camera

10MB is equivalent to:

  • Sending/receiving 100 emails without attachments,
  • 5-10 emails with attachments, or
  • 45-60 mins of web browsing, or
  • Downloading 2-3 MP3 files

(2) BEREC (The Body of European Regulators for Electronic
Communications) published its most recent International Roaming
Benchmark Data Report in May 2011. It covers data collected between
1 July and 31 December 2010.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.
Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s
mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader
mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies,
equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and
entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces
industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and
Mobile Asia Congress.  

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the online
portal for the mobile communications industry, at href="">
or the GSMA corporate website at href="">



Abigail Faylor, +44(0)2070-670-851, afaylor at or press at

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