eu roaming news

European Parliament seeks free roaming extension & bigger cuts in wholesale roaming fees

That legislation was set to expire on 30 June 2022, but Parliament’s Industry Committee voted in favour of extending the “Roam like at Home” scheme for another ten years. More latest EU roaming news find out below.

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The European Parliament’s Industry Committee today (14 October) voted in favour of maintaining the Roam Like At Home scheme until 2032 and also proposed to abolish surcharges on calls made between EU nations.

According to the text adopted by MEPs, consumers would continue to enjoy the ability to use their mobile phones when travelling abroad in the EU with no additional fees on top of what they already pay at home.

In addition, they would be entitled to the same quality and speed of mobile connection abroad as at home. Roaming providers would be obliged to offer roaming conditions equal to those offered domestically, if the same technologies and conditions are available on the network in the country people are visiting. MEPs want to prohibit commercial practices reducing the quality of services of regulated retail roaming services (e.g. by switching the connection from 4G to 3G).

Free access to emergency services eu roaming news

Access to emergency services would be provided to travellers without any additional charge – whether by call or SMS, including the transmission of caller location information. Operators would also have to provide information to roaming users about the European emergency number 112, MEPs agreed. MEPs also want people with disabilities to be able to access to emergency services without additional charges.

Ending surcharges for intra-EU calls

MEPs also propose ending surcharges for intra-EU calls (e.g. when calling from Belgium to Italy), which are currently capped at 19 cents per minute. Users would pay only the extra costs objectively justified by the provider.

Roam-like-at-home is an unprecedented European success story. It shows how we all directly benefit from the EU single market,” said Lead MEP Angelika Winzig (EPP, AT).

“We want to cut costs further and improve the quality of service for all European citizens. This is an opportunity for us to add some notable improvements, which will benefit citizens and businesses without causing disruption for mobile network operators.”

The updated legislation also makes adjustments aiming for better roaming services for travellers, according to a press release. Other moves in the latest plan include ensuring consumers enjoy the same quality and speed of mobile connection while travelling, along with free access to emergency services through calls and SMS.

The Parliament explained the European Commission’s analysis of the original roaming mandate showed “market conditions do not yet appear to guarantee that free roaming can continue without regulatory intervention”.

UK operators EE, Vodafone and 3 have all detailed plans to reintroduce roaming charges since the nation’s exit from the EU. eu roaming news

Next steps

The new rules will need to be agreed by Parliament and Council, before they can enter into force. The report was adopted with 67 votes to 0, with 7 abstentions. MEPs voted to open negotiations with Council with 67 votes to 0 and 7 abstentions. The mandate will be announced during the 18-21 October plenary session. Council agreed its negotiating mandate on 16 June 2021. The first trilogue would then take place on the 26th of October.


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