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End of mobile roaming charges in the EU

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End of mobile roaming charges in the EU

Mobile phone - Photo © Tanusha - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - EU roaming charges no longer apply from 15 June 2017, meaning Europeans who travel within the EU will be able to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home.

The abolition of retail roaming surcharges will enable consumers to call text and use mobile data for the same cost at home and while travelling in another EU country. and transfer data across borders from another EU member state for the same cost as at home.

The presidents of all three EU institutions issued a statement welcoming "a true European success story", and saying "the European Union is about bringing people together and making their lives easier".

"From now on," the statement continues, "citizens who travel within the EU will be able to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home. Eliminating roaming charges is one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU."

Worries about roaming charges are a thing of the past, and "the EU has managed to find the right balance between the end of roaming charges and the need to keep domestic mobile packages competitive and attractive."

The presidents say they are confident telecoms operators will "seize the opportunities the new rules bring to the benefit of their customers."

The European Parliament fought hard to ensure that the time spent by a user abroad is not limited to a specific duration, but is based on the generous principle of fair use. This means that as long as you spend more time using your phone at home than you do in another EU country, you will be able to roam like at home.

To fight abuse of the regulation, for example by buying a phone contract in a country where prices are cheaper and use it primarily in another country, a telecom operator could ask for additional roaming charges where the use abroad exceeds the use at home.

Roaming charges will also be eliminated in Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein, which are part of the European Economic Area.

The cost of roaming data costs in the EU in the past ten years:

Cost of 1 MB

Year

€6

2007

70 cents

2012

20 cents

2015

Domestic price + five cents

2016

Domestic price

2017

Commission FAQ on the end of roaming

European Parliament Briefing: roam like at home by default

(Source European Commission)


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