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HomeInformationEU negotiators agreed on wholesale prices on EU telephone calls
End of roaming charges

EU negotiators agreed on wholesale prices on EU telephone calls

Ibercampus
As the last step towards the end of roaming charges by 15 June 2017, representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on how to regulate wholesale roaming markets (the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU).

For a decade, the Commission has been working to reduce and ultimately end the surcharges that telecoms operators imposed on their customers each time they crossed a border while using their mobile device on holiday or during business trips. Since 2007, roaming prices have decreased by more than 90%. Prices fell for the final time in April 2016 , to 5 cents per minute of voice call, 2 cents per SMS, and 5 cents per MB of data on top of national rates. In 2015, and based on a proposal of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council agreed to end roaming charges for people travelling periodically in the EU. The Commission adopted technical measures needed to make this happen, including a fair use policy and sustainability mechanism in December 2016. In parallel, the Telecoms Single Market Regulation entrusted the Commission with the task of reviewing the wholesale roaming markets and making appropriate proposals before 15 June 2016, in order to enable the abolition of retail roaming charges from 15 June 2017.

Last night's political agreement is a final achievement to make "roam-like-at-home" work as of 15 June 2017, as foreseen in the Telecom Single Market (TSM) Regulation. It means that when travelling in the EU, consumers will be able to call, send SMS or surf on their mobile at the same price they pay at home. The agreement makes "roam-like-at-home" sustainable for people and businesses, while ensuring cost recovery and keeping national wholesale roaming markets competitive.

Thanks to yesterday's political agreement on wholesale rules and the rules on fair use policy and sustainability adopted by the Commission in December 2016, consumers can use their home subscriptions when travelling periodically abroad. If consumers exceed their contract limits when roaming, any additional charges will not be higher than the wholesale roaming caps agreed today.

The Commission will conduct a review of the wholesale market by the end of 2019 and provide the co­legislators with an interim assessment by 15 December 2018.

 

The European Parliament and the Council must now formally approve the agreement reached today. The new wholesale roaming prices will become applicable on 15 June 2017, in time for operators to take all the necessary preparatory steps for the introduction of roam-like -at-home by then.

 

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