Great news for travel aficionados everywhere: mobile roaming charges within the European Union are coming to an end, with data roaming charges soon following suit.
The European Commission recently announced its intention to end mobile roaming charges for citizens of the European Union as of 15 June, just in time for the summer holidays.
Up until now, travellers could be charged as much as 5 cents per minute for phone calls and 2 cents for every SMS they sent; wholesale mobile roaming charges will now be capped at 3.2 cents per minute for phone calls and 1 cent per SMS.
Similarly, data roaming charges will also be reduced although this will take place over a period of five years:
- €7.70 per GB as of June 15, 2017
- €6 per GB as of January 1, 2018
- €4.50 per GB as of January 1, 2019
- €3.50 per GB as of January 1, 2020
- €3 per GB as of January 1, 2021
- €2.50 per GB as of January 1, 2022
Speaking about the agreement, Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy project said:
“As of 15 June, 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. Today, we deliver on our promise.”
Similarly, the European Commission’s adoption of a fair use and sustainability policy back in December means that EU citizens can simply use their chosen mobile phone plans when travelling throughout Europe. Speaking last year, the European Commission said:
“Any voice call, SMS, and data session made while travelling abroad in the EU will be deducted from the monthly package of minutes, SMS, and data in the home country with no extra charges. This means the end of roaming charges as travellers have experienced them so far.”
The decision to regulate wholesale mobile roaming charges was agreed upon by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council.