The European Union just mandated that roaming charges will be lowered for Europeans traveling within Europe (per megabyte of data transfer from 70 euro cents down to 45 cents with a further drop scheduled in July 2014 to push it down to 20 cents; and the cost of calls for both made and received calls, will be going down from 29 cents and 8 cents per minute respectively to 24 cents and 7 cents. Calls from July 1st 2014 will go down to 19 cents per minute outbound, and 5 cents per minute inbound.)
While this is the result of an interesting mix of deregulation and bureaucratic arm wrestling, in the meanwhile a Dutch start-up, CrowdRoaming, just launched a free Android app, which will enable travellers to tap into local CrowdRoaming users’ smartphone WiFi and surf without costs. This offers the latest example of bringing the sharing economy to consumers. In the end what is more appealing, paying 20 euro cents per megabyte or absolutely zero? The odds are that this Dutch innovation will be beating European Union deregulation.