End in sight for mobile phone roaming fees

Roaming charges will be abolished in the EU from 2017.
A complete ban on roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad in the European Union will take effect in June 2017 and clear rules on the right to Internet access will become law following Parliament’s final adoption of the new telecoms package on Tuesday.

A complete ban on roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad in the European Union will take effect in June 2017 and clear rules on the right to Internet access will become law following Parliament’s final adoption of the new telecoms package on Tuesday.

“This abolition of roaming surcharges has been long awaited by everybody: ordinary people, start-ups, SMEs and all kinds of organisations” said the rapporteur, Pilar del Castillo (EPP, ES), in the debate before the vote. “Thanks to this agreement, Europe will also become the only region in world which legally guarantees open internet and Net Neutrality. The principle of Net Neutrality will be applied directly in the 28 member states. It also ensures that we will not have a two-speed internet”

Roaming fees for calling, sending text messages and using the mobile internet abroad in the EU (and in EEA countries) will be banned from 15 June 2017.

In the meantime, from 30 April 2016 roaming surcharges must not exceed:

* €0.05 per minute for outgoing voice calls

* €0.02 for text messages (SMS), or

* €0.05 per megabyte of mobile internet use.

The cap on charges for incoming voice calls will be determined later this year and is expected to be considerably lower than for outgoing calls.