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Mobile roaming surcharges in EU to end by summer

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Mobile roaming surcharges in EU to end by summer

Mobile phone - Photo © Tanusha - Fotolia

(STRASBOURG) - The last hurdle on the way to ending retail 'roaming' surcharges, scheduled for 15 June 2017, was cleared Thursday as the European Parliament voted for the abolition of wholesale price caps.

"This is a great victory for European consumers", said the Parliament's rapporteur Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP: "We can now celebrate the fact that from 15 June on there will be no more roaming fees. Users travelling in across Europe will be able to check emails, use maps, upload photos on the social media, phone and text home without extra cost."

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.

Parliament removed the final hurdle – wholesale price caps – by endorsing an informal deal on them which had already informally agreed with the EU Council.

The informal agreement between the Parliament and Council on wholesale price caps defines how much telecoms operators can charge each other for using their networks to carry cross-border "roaming" calls. Wholesale roaming prices indirectly affect consumers' final bills.

Lower caps for data transfers would enable EU consumers to access more more data such as audio-visual content when travelling from a country to another. This could also open up markets for small and virtual telecoms operator.

New wholesale price caps

  • Voice call: €0.032
  • Gigabyte: €7.7 (15/06/2017), €6 (01/01/2018), €4.5 (01/01/2019), €3.5 (01/01/2020), €3 (01/01/2021), €2.5 (01/01/2022)
  • Text message: €0.01

Further information, European Parliament

Steps of the procedure

Adopted text (2016/0185(COD)) will soon be available here (06.04.2017)

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