When the cap was imposed, Meteor even had the cheek to claim that it was "abolishing data roaming charges", when in fact it was simply being forced by the EU to reduce it's charge from the outrageous €10.24 per MB (no, that's not a typo - over €10 per MB!)
But some of the Irish operators provide a roaming data add-on, and by using these add-ons the cost per MB works out at:
- Vodafone: 4c per MB (50MB for €2, per day)
- O2: 8c per MB (25MB for €2, per day)
- 48 doesn't provide data roaming
A huge difference in cost! As an unfortunate eMobile customer currently locked into a contract, I pay 10 times what a Vodafone customer pays per MB, with a minimum add-on charge of €19.99.
It is true though that with Vodafone, it's €2 per day with a 50MB limit for that day, whereas the eMobile 50MB add-on can be spread over up to 30 days. But even taking that into account, eMobile is still massively more expensive.
Of course, cheaper again is to get a local SIM card when you arrive in the country you are visiting, and pay as you go.
There is slightly better news on the horizon. The EU is due to reduce the cap from 86c/MB to 55c/MB on 1 July 2013, and to 25c/MB on 1 July 2014 (those prices include 23% VAT). This may prompt some of the operators to reduce the price of their add-ons.
This just in... the European Commission has voted to end all EU roaming charges by 1 July 2014. Hallelujah!