News > EU seals end of telephone roaming charges on June 15

EU seals end of telephone roaming charges on June 15

AFP
 - 26/04/2017

Telephone roaming charges are to be totally abolished in the European Union as of June 15 2017, following a wholesale price agreement between operators, the final piece of reform carried out over ten years.

Under the agreement between the European institutions, approved by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the promise, made by the Commission to great fanfare in 2015, of an EU without roaming charges, will become a reality.

"Europeans will no longer be in a state of shock when they receive their phone bill. Until now,  they had been used to turning off their phones when they crossed a border," Commented Finnish MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, rapporteur for the European Parliament.

From Mid-June, EU citizens will pay no more for making a call, sending an SMS or accessing the Internet in any other EU country, than that in which they live.

However, their "roaming" will always be at a cost for their operator, responsible for delivering the communication on a network other than its own.

It was on this point that the final vote of the European Parliament centred upon: the new regulation, approved on Thursday, set the ceilings for these wholesale rates, with, for example, a price per gigabyte of data which will gradually fall to €2.5 in 2022.

"Reducing wholesale roaming charges was necessary as many operators would not have been able to eliminate roaming charges without increasing their tarifs", said Digital Single Market Vice-President Andrus Ansip, welcoming a measure that will have "an immediate positive impact on the lives of millions of Europeans".

Over the past ten years, the European Commission has worked to reduce the additional costs imposed by telephone operators on their subscribers each time they crossed a country border.. Roaming charges have already decreased by over 90% since 2007.

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