EU mobile roaming charges to be scrapped by June 2017

EU mobile roaming charges to be scrapped by June 2017

A ban on roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad in the EU will take effect from June 2017.

Clear rules on the right to internet access will also become law following the European Parliament's final approval today of the new telecoms package.

Roaming charges for using a mobile phone while travelling in the EU are to be scrapped from mid 2017 and capped next year.

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly says telecoms operators have been dragging their heels on this.

He said: "Not only did they drag their heels but they took the European Union to court, they said it was illegal, thankfully the European Court of Justice said it wasn't.

"Of course, like all big businesses, when they are made to adapt to something, they can do it.

"We are now going to have a position where everybody will be treated equally, everybody will be able to trade or work online no matter what country in the European Union they are in."

HOW MUCH ARE EU MOBILE ROAMING CHARGES?

Currently, data roaming charges are capped within the EU to 19 cent a minute for outgoing calls, 5 cent a minute for incoming calls, 6 cent per text message and 20 cent per megabyte of data downloaded, on top of the normal tariff.

The charges are added by mobile operators for calls, texts and internet browsing when phone users are abroad.

They have led to consumers being charged hundreds or even thousands of euro for using their phone while on holiday.

An interim cap on charges will take effect from April 30 next year, prior to the full ban across the EU.

The interim cap means operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic prices of up to 5 cent per minute for calls, 2 cent per text message and 5 cent per MB of data.

This will make roaming charges within the EU 75% cheaper during the interim period, according to the European Commission.

Roaming charges will be completely removed by mid June 2017.


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