EU to Scrap Mobile Roaming Charges in June 2017

EU | October 27, 2015, Tuesday // 20:26|  views

Roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad in the EU will be completely banned in June 2017, the European Parliament decided on Tuesday.

"This abolition of roaming surcharges has been long awaited by everybody: ordinary people, start-ups, SMEs and all kinds of organizations,” the rapporteur, Pilar del Castillo said in the debate before the vote, in which the Parliament gave its final approval to the new telecoms legislation package.

The new measures also set clear rules on the right to internet access.

“The principle of net neutrality will be applied directly in the 28 member states. It also ensures that we will not have a two-speed internet,” Pilar del Castillo said.

Net neutrality means that the internet service providers should not give preferential treatment to certain websites and services.

Roaming fees for calling, sending text messages and using the mobile internet abroad in the EU and in EEA countries will be banned from 15 June 2017, the European Parliament said on its website.

From 30 April 2016 roaming surcharges (i.e. those added to the price paid at home) must not exceed five eurocents per minute for outgoing voice calls or per megabyte of mobile internet use. Roaming surcharges for text messages must not exceed two eurocents as of the same date.

The cap on charges for incoming voice calls will be determined later this year and is expected to be considerably lower than for outgoing calls, the European Parliament decided.

The new law will oblige firms offering internet access to treat all traffic equally, i.e. not to block or slow delivery of content, applications or services from selected senders or to selected receivers, unless this is necessary to obey court orders, comply with laws, prevent network congestion or combat cyber-attacks.

If such traffic management measures are needed, they will have to be "transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate".

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Tags: EU, Internet, roaming charges, European parliament, SMS, mobile, phones, devices, traffic


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