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Telecoms Guides

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Guides on the EU policy on Telecoms.
Caps on international calls and SMS within the EU
As of 15 May, a new maximum price will apply for all international calls and SMS within the EU.
Political agreement on the rules shaping the telecommunication markets in the 5G era
The European Parliament and the Council reached late on 5 June a political agreement to update the EU's telecoms rules. The new European Electronic Communications Code, proposed by the Commission, will boost investments in very high capacity networks across the EU, including in remote and rural areas.
Screening of telecoms websites
The European Commission and national consumer protection authorities published on 18 May results of an EU-wide screening of 207 websites offering fixed/mobile phone, internet, audio and video streaming services.
End of EU roaming charges in 2017
You will not have roaming charges when travelling to another EU country from 15 June 2017. Every existing or new contract that includes roaming services will change to "roam like at home" contract. New EU rules will cover data services, voice calls and SMS.
WIFI4EU - Free Wi-Fi for Europeans
The WiFi4EU initiative supports the installation of free public Wi-Fi hotspots in local communities across the EU: in public squares, town halls, parks, libraries, and other public spaces.
End of roaming charges in 2017: Q&A on fair use policy and other preparatory measures
The European Commission discussed on 21 September a revised draft of the rules needed to avoid abuses of the end of roaming charges in time for June 2017.
5G and the EU
The 'fifth generation' of telecommunications systems, or 5G, will be the most critical building block of our "digital society" in the next decade. Europe has taken significant steps to lead global developments towards this strategic technology.
Proposal to boost mobile internet services with high-quality radio frequencies
The European Commission presented on 2 February a proposal to coordinate the use of the 700 MHz band for mobile services. It will improve internet access for all Europeans and help develop cross-border applications.
Deal for cheaper mobile calls and open internet
An informal deal to ban 'roaming fees, or surcharges for making mobile phone calls, sending text messages or using the internet while abroad in another EU Member State from 15 June 2017, was struck by MEPs and EU ministers in the small hours of Tuesday morning. MEPs also inserted guarantees that all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination.
EU investigation against Google in relation to Android mobile operating system
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings against Google to investigate in-depth if the company’s conduct in relation to its Android mobile operating system as well as applications and services for smartphones and tablets has breached EU antitrust rules.
Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation programme
Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation programme, has placed two more satellites into orbit. The lift-off took place on 27 March at 22.46 CET from the European spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana.Signals confirm that they were positioned as expected.
Digital Single Market Strategy
The European Commission's College of Commissioners on 25 March had a first discussion on the Digital Single Market Strategy due in May. It set out the main areas the Commission will focus its work on with the aim of triggering real changes for consumers and businesses alike.
Telecoms: Recommendation on relevant markets
The European Commission – in agreement with Member States - decided on 9 October that two telecom markets should no longer be subject to regulation in Europe, and that two more should be redefined to reflect market and technology developments. The rules take effect immediately.
Commission report on radio spectrum and UHF band
Europe's broadcasting and wireless broadband sectors are seen as essential to Europe's digital future and economic prosperity, and they are both hungry users of radio frequencies. On 1 September, former Commissioner Pascal Lamy presented the European Commission with a report on how to use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum (the 700 Megahertz (MHz) band) most effectively in the coming decades. The UHF band represents "prime real estate" in terms of use, capacity and reach. Commissioner Neelie Kroes also announced new rules on the harmonisation of spectrum bands used by wireless microphones, also in the UHF band, as well as the first report of an inventory showing how EU Member States are using their radio frequencies today and what to focus on tomorrow. Combined, all three elements should help to secure the long-term future for broadband, broadcast and other wireless services in Europe.
GALILEO, the EU's satellite navigation programme
Galileo, the EU's satellite navigation programme, on 21 August sent two more satellites into space, reaching a total number of 6 satellites in orbit. The lift-off took place at the European spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana. The launch marked another milestone for Galileo as a step towards a fully-fledged European-owned satellite navigation system. These two satellites are the first of a new series which is fully owned by the EU. With the addition of a new wave of such satellites to the existing array, the availability and coverage of the Galileo signal is expected to gradually improve and bring us a step closer to the fully operational phase of the programme. The satellites launched, Doresa and Milena, were named by two schoolchildren who won an EU wide drawing competition to name them.
Connected Communities
The European Commission launched on 10 July launches the "Connected Communities" initiative – an umbrella for several systems designed to connect towns, cities, local broadband partnerships and operators to the advice they need to access finance and develop tailored business models for bringing fast broadband to their community.
Mobile data roaming price caps from 1 July
From 1 July 2014, the EU will cut the price caps for data downloads by more than half: down from 45 cents per megabyte to 20c/MB. It will become even cheaper to use maps, watch videos, check mails and update social networks while travelling across the EU.
5G mobile technology deal with South Korea
The agreement signed in Seoul on 16 June is a milestone in the global race to develop 5G mobile technologies. The EU and South Korea have agreed to work towards a global definition of 5G and to cooperate in 5G research. They also agreed on the need for harmonized radio spectrum to ensure global interoperability and on the preparation of global standards for 5G.
Commercial access to Earth observation data: new EU proposal
Businesses and research institutions will soon have more reliable access to commercial earth observation satellite data, according to a proposal presented by the European Commission in Brussels on 17 June.
Taxation of the Digital Economy - final report
The European Commission has today received the final report of the High-level Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy. This independent group was asked to examine key issues related to taxing the digital economy in the EU, and to present their ideas on the best approach to various challenges and opportunities in this field. It was completed after 5 months work by the Group, which consisted of 6 other experts from across Europe with different expertise relevant to this area.