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EU agrees on final details to end all wireless roaming charges

By Jos ¬∑ 6 replies
Feb 1, 2017
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  1. The European Union has been working towards eliminating roaming charges within the region for a few years now. After several delays and other setbacks it looks like the region’s executive body, parliament and representatives of the 28 Member States have agreed on the final details regarding wholesale charges and fair use policy, and are set for a final vote to enact the new ‘roam-like-at-home’ rules starting June 15.

    As part of the agreement, wholesale charges for data — the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU — will be gradually reduced over the next five years from 7.7 € per GB in 2017 to 2.5 € per GB by 2022. This was a major sticking point in the negotiations as countries which host a lot of tourists, like Spain and France, would be most affected if wholesale rates were dramatically cut at once. On the other hand, if the caps are too high, smaller wireless operators or carriers from Eastern European countries where mobile data plans are cheaper would be forced to hike domestic prices to recover the costs of accommodating the extra tourist traffic.

    For end users, with the agreement now in place, the end result is that they’ll be able to use their included minutes and data abroad wherever they are in Europe and any overage charges — if applicable — will be charged at the same rates as in their home markets.

    The agreement also includes fair use policies to keep ‘permanent roamers’ from abusing the system — buying cheaper mobile contract in one European country in order to use it all the time in a more expensive EU country. In a previous draft, the maximum allowed was up to 30 days at a time, for a total of 90 days per year, but the revised version requires that over a period of four months, the end user spends more than two months abroad. If this isn’t the case, and if the customer has consumed more abroad than at home over this time, operators will send an alert to that customer.

    Once the alert is received, the customer will have two weeks to clarify the situation. If the user continues to remain abroad, operators will be able to apply small surcharges capped at 8.7 € per GB, just slightly above their own wholesale costs, which isn't terrible compared to pricing for data in the U.S.

    It appears there are no longer limits on consecutive days or total days in a year. “This was the last piece of the puzzle,” the European Commission’s VP for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip said in a statement. “As of 15 June, Europeans will be able to travel in the EU without roaming charges.”

    It's unclear what will happen with UK mobile users’ roaming fees in Europe after they leave the EU.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Whack Tack

    Whack Tack TS Rookie

    8 EUR for 1 GB internet....we are with prices in 2000 of fixed internet.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Badonk4

    Badonk4 TS Member Posts: 30   +21

    This is not as good as it sounds. There's too much small print, so the price doesn't necessarily change.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,786   +1,171

    IF, they are caught taking advantage of the system, as stated. The idea would be to reduce charges to 2,5 per gb. I mean... it's all explained right there.
    Sure, if you are planning on taking advantage of the system.

    @Techspot hey guys, you should stick to an image, title and maybe 3 lines of news so that people can follow it...
  5. Icysoul

    Icysoul TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +13

    Well, I just got back to Germany from a 3-day city break in Stockholm. I had the roaming data enabled the whole time and the Vodafone app showed me that I had burned around 300MB from my 1GB quota (mostly Google maps and FB, mind you). I also got a message when I landed in Stockholm, saying that the internet usage while roaming will be deducted from my plan at no additional cost. And so it did.
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +472

    Are there enough tourist in Eastern European countries for their telecoms to justify screwing locals over? Talk about short term thinking.
  7. Caezarlo

    Caezarlo TS Rookie

    What? ...

    I think you completly do not understand what is all about... Major telecoms are Orange, Vodafone, T-mobile ale Telefónica (+AT&T???)..

    So when you go abroad, you need to pay the very same company you already paying bills...

    And your question is totally out.. the same like if Wales has so many tourist as England..

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