Data roaming charges are set to be abolished within the EU by June 2017, thus enshrining the principle of net neutrality in European Law.
In the meanwhile, charges are to be gradually reduced by European operators.
The agreement has been presented since July in the various Member States in order for them to formally adopt it.
Roaming occurs when travelling to a foreign country with a mobile phone, so in order to make and receive calls, write messages or surf the web, both companies from one's home country and from the visiting country work together.
According to the European Commission, having to pay extra fees for intra-EU roaming represents “a market distortion with no rational place in a single market”.
As soon as in 2013, legislative efforts had been made via the legislative package for a “Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market”, which also sought to foster “sustainable digital jobs and industries”. Even before that, in 2007, rules had been implemented by the Commission via the “Eurotariff”- which set maximum limits for prices, in order to receive and make phone calls from a foreign country-.
This had enabled a reduction of prices by 80% as of 2014, with a parallel increase of 630% in the data roaming market.
This October 2015, the European Parliament has passed a vote entrenching the end of extra charges for data roaming, bringing phone calls from home and all other EU countries on an equal footing price-wise as of June 2017.
As soon as April 2016, the charge for data roaming will be cut down to €0.05 per minute for phone calls, €0.02 per SMS and €0.05 per MB of data (+VAT)
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