After twelve hours of negotiations the European Parliament and the EU member states have reached an agreement on the unification of the telecommunications market within the European Union.
This means that from 15 June 2017 roaming costs will become a thing of the past for those using their mobile phones within the European Union.
The agreement was reached more quickly than some observers had expected, not least because a number of EU member states shared the concerns of their telecom companies about loss of income.
The ministers responsible for telecommunications in the 28 EU member states have decided that roaming charges should be scrapped in stages. From next summer, roaming charges will be considerably reduced. Roaming costs will be scrapped all together in June 2017.
A so-called fair-use policy will be enforced to ensure that people don’t take out mobile phone subscriptions with foreign operators in countries where tariffs are much lower than in their home countries.
There is also a clause in the contract that ensures that operators will not be able to recoup any losses incurred by the scrapping of roaming charges.
In two stages
• From 30 April 2016 operators will only be able to charge 5 eurocent extra per minute for calls made while “roaming”. This will be 2 eurocent per text message and 5 eurocent per megabyte of data.
• Roaming costs will be scrapped all together on 15 June 2017.