EU Signs Deal Clearing Way for End of Roaming ChargesEU | February 1, 2017, Wednesday // 12:12| views
File photo, BGNES
The European Union on Wednesday reached a deal that will gradually phase out mobile roaming charges throughout the bloc, the European Parliament has announced.
Under the preliminary agreement,a cap will be put on wholesale mobile data prices at EUR 7.75 per gigabyte as of June 15 and it has to decrease gradually in the next few years.
The price will fall to EUR 6 in 2018, EUR 4.5 in 2019, EUR 3.5 in 2020, EUR 3 in 2021 and EUR 2.5 in 2022.
Data prices were the bone of contention in the talks leading to the deal.
Text messages will be charged EUR 0.01, as proposed by the European Commission, half the current prices.
A cap of EUR 0.032 per minute for calls will replace the current one of EUR 0.05 per minute.
"The deal is a necessary step towards the full abolition of retail roaming surcharges, which will enable consumers to use their mobile phones in other EU countries just as they do at home without paying extra fees."
The step will allow for calls and data transfer across borders to carry the same cost as at home.
Wholesale caps - which define how much telecoms operators can charge each other for using their network to carry roaming calls - will be reviewed by the Commission every two years.
The agreement still needs to formal approval by the Industry Committee, the European Parliament as a whole and national ministers before entering into force.
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