Europe to ditch mobile roaming charges by June
According to a report in ComputerWeekly, high mobile roaming charges will soon be gone on the European continent. Europe’s Parliament, Council and Commission reached a final agreement on the rates mobile network operators can bill each other when customers roam on each other’s voice networks. The agreement should be in place by mid-June.
The report indicated that by mid-year, mobile roaming rates charged between operators can only be a maximum of 3.2 cents per minute for voice and a penny for each SMS text message. On the data side, the reductions are scaled, with the first reduction happening this June to 7.70 euros per gigabyte all the way down to 2.5 euros per gigabyte by January 1, 2022.
All of this is to support a “roam like home” policy intended to make travel throughout the region more seamless for citizens by ensuring their mobile phone bills don’t become astronomically higher through roaming charges.
Though the new limits are aimed at the wholesale network provider level, they ultimately support the requirement that citizens cannot be charged more while roaming than they would in their European homes. If citizens exceed their allowances of voice minutes, text messages or data, their roaming overages cannot exceed their overage rates from their home regions.
“This was the last piece of the puzzle,” Andrus Ansip, Digital Single Market’s vice president, told ComputerWeekly. As of June 15, “Europeans will be able to travel in the EU without roaming charges. We have also made sure that operators can continue competing to provide the most attractive offers to their home markets.”
It’s unclear at this time whether the UK will elect to be part of the agreement given its pending exit from the EU.
Image source: iStock