Roaming agreement: good news for consumers and businesses
If you go travelling in the summer of 2017, you will no longer have to pay extra if you surf, call, or telephone in the European Union. That was agreed tonight between the three European institutions. People will be able to call anywhere in Europe in exactly the same way and at the same cost as within their own country. The compromise puts an end to many years of negotiations about abolishing the roaming rates.
Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Agenda and Telecom said: “Belgium has always taken the lead in abolishing the roaming rates. National rate barriers have no place in today's Europe. That abolishing roaming is finally now in sight is a good thing. Consumers will be able to use their mobile phone or smartphone without headaches in the entire European Union. This is also good news for companies.”
Philippe De Backer, MEP: "The Commission and Parliament wanted to abolish roaming as quickly as possible, but some countries blocked the case because they put their national interests above the interests of European citizens and companies. A fundamental mistake.”
Roaming will be completely abolished with effect from June 2017. In the meantime, the costs will already go down. After all, the Commission is forcing telecommunications companies to apply a fair use policy: the most expensive roaming must already disappear now. Specifically, with effect from 30 April 2016, the prices will decrease: still a maximum of EUR 0.05 per minute extra from abroad, EUR 0.02 for a text message and EUR 0.05 per megabyte of data. Compared with today, this means that rates will be three to four times lower.
Digital single market
"The abolition of roaming charges will also give the digital economy an extra boost: people will have easy access to their mobile applications anytime and anywhere within Europe. Digital innovations such as connected cars also now have a future in Europe," according to Alexander De Croo.
"If in Europe we want to go for innovation, for digital progress, for growth, the abolition of roaming is already a first step in the right direction towards a digital single market," concludes Philippe De Backer.