Dialling it down: one step closer to abolition of roaming charges 

 
 

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From tomorrow, surcharges for phone calls and data usage when you’re in another EU country are capped even further, while from 15 June 2017 using your mobile phone abroad should cost the same as doing so at home. As of tomorrow non-discriminatory net neutrality rules also enter into force. Read on for more details.

Until 14 June 2017 there is a transitional period when operators are able to charge a small amount on top of domestic prices. For example, operators can charge up to five cents per minute in addition to the domestic price and for the text messages (SMS) up to two cents. Check the table below for details.


Spanish EPP member Pilar del Castillo Vera, who was responsible for steering the new rules through Parliament, commented: “The 30th of April is a great day for consumers! They will benefit from reduced roaming charges, of up to four times, on voice, data and text messages when traveling in the EU. It's the final step before the total abolition of roaming charges in June 2017.”


Phasing out the roaming charges is part of the telecoms package which also includes the first EU-wide net neutrality rules to ensure open access to internet content without discrimination. Internet providers will not be allowed to reduce the internet speed and use it for commercial practices. The rules on net neutrality will also enter into force on 30 April.


The EU has been reducing roaming charges since 2007 and the Parliament has repeatedly asked for them to be scrapped altogether.


In June 2015 negotiators from the Parliament, the Council and the European Commission agreed on the telecoms package and the abolition of mobile call roaming charges from 15 June 2017. In October MEPs approved the agreement in plenary.



Maximum regulated retail roaming charges (in euros, excluding VAT)

Today

From tomorrow until 14 June 2017

From 15 June 2017

A minute of call made

0.19

Domestic price + up to 0.05 surcharge

Using mobile abroad = the same price as at home

A text message sent

0.06

Domestic price + up to 0.02 surcharge

A megabyte of data used

0.20

Domestic price + up to 0.05 surcharge

A text message received

Free

A minute of call received

0.05

Should not exceed an average maximum wholesale mobile termination rate set across the EU*


*A transitory regime until the Commission addresses this outstanding issue. Mobile termination rate is a wholesale tariff charged by the operator of a called party to the operator of the calling party's network. 


Check out what the MEPs are saying in social media about the end of roaming.


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