The initiative for the roaming charges to be abolished for the Western Balkans has been launched a considerable amount of time ago by Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, all of which have reached an agreement on reducing the prices of mobile phone calls abroad a few years ago.
Albania and the Serbian province of Kosovo also expressed their willingness to join the initiative.
“A summit will be held in Belgrade in April next year at which the European Commission is expected to sign an agreement on the abolition of roaming charges for the Western Balkans”, Serbian Minister of Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic has been quoted as saying.
“We already have an agreement in place for four countries, but, if we want to include entire Western Balkans, that also means Albania plus Kosovo. It remains to be seen whether roaming charges will be eliminated only for Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, or maybe we will have to wait for an agreement that covers the entire Western Balkans that could be signed in April. Of course, there is a political connotation here regarding the status of Kosovo. If the signed agreement includes only the four aforementioned countries, then that would practically mean that roaming charges would be abolished in the summer of 2021”, Minister Ljajic adds.
According to Minister Ljajic, a two-year period will be needed for adaptation and preparation of the complete abolition of these charges. These four countries can do that relatively quickly, but it is a politically controversial issue for others.
Also, mobile telephone operators in country are not in that much of a hurry to eliminate roaming charges since they are making good money off them.
Outgoing roaming call 28 dinars a minute
The average price of outgoing calls, when in roaming, in the countries of the region – Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina – is 27.99 dinars. Incoming calls are 7.39 dinars, and SMS – 8.89 dinars. For EU countries, the average price of outgoing calls is 49.90 dinars and establishing a call connection 79.90 dinars, while incoming calls cost 9.90 dinars, establishing a call connection 39.90 dinars, and sending a text message is 29.90 dinars.