Roaming Fees Will Soon Be No More In Europe This Coming Summer
Mobile users who are based in countries belonging to the European Union (EU) may now start bidding their goodbyes to roaming charges. That is because Europe’s executive body, parliament, and representatives of the 28 Member States have finally come to terms regarding a deal on wholesale charges, i.e. the prices wireless carriers can charge each other when letting users from rival networks roam across different providers.
It should be noted that officially, the European Parliament and the Council will still have to grant a formal approval to the agreement by means of a vote. But that should be considered as nothing more than a formality, as the Member States have already agreed. Barring any major changes in the decision in the next six months, roaming charges should no longer exist beginning on June 15th of this year.
Andrus Ansip, the vice president of the Digital Single Market of the European Commission, has expressed through a press statement that the agreement was considered the last hurdle in finally allowing mobile users in Europe to travel within the EU without having to worry about incurring roaming charges.
It is no surprise that the agreement over wholesale charges comes with a gradually decreasing wholesale cap for data use, eventually reducing to €2.5 about half a decade from now. This, however, does not have an impact on EU mobile users’ roaming fees for data, which will still cease to be by summer of this year.
For several years now, the EU has been trying to get rid of roaming charges once and for all. It started the Telecoms Single Market initiative around three years ago, with the objective of improving the global competitiveness of the European mobile market, while at the same time, promoting career opportunities in digital by minimizing fragmentation in the market.
But even as early as a decade ago, the EU has been trying to trim down the prices that carriers can charge for roaming, while continuously working to eliminate roaming charges altogether. On the carriers’ part, they have voiced their concern over “permanent” roaming mobile users (people who take advantage of cheaper wireless contracts in one European country in order to be able to use them all the time in another country, which is an effective way to avoid pricey tariffs in their home country). But the Commission has adopted new policies in order to regulate how often home subscriptions can be utilized sans roaming charges.