Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society announced after the first year without roaming charges in the EU that Europeans largely benefit from the new rules:
“We are happy to see that people use their mobile phones more and more freely when travelling abroad in the EU, especially when it comes to mobile data. Frequent travellers and European youth, in particular, recognise the benefits of roaming without extra costs.
This is an example of an EU that concretely improves the life of European citizens. Roam like at home is working and is becoming a habit: customers are appreciating it, consumption is up and the demand for mobile services while travelling in the EU is very high. It benefits consumers and operators alike. The large increase in roaming traffic has also a positive effect on wholesale revenues for operators.
Our main goal was to lift the significant barriers created by roaming charges, for consumers who were limited by the cost of using their phones abroad, but also for mobile operators. Since we abolished the charges, more than five times the amount of data has been consumed and almost two and a half times more phone calls have been made in the EU and the European Economic Area. This is great news. Moreover, 82% of people who have travelled to another EU country in the last year say they have benefitted from the new rules. No-one has to face a bill shock anymore after returning from holidays or a business trip abroad.
We will continue our cooperation with national regulators to monitor the developments on mobile markets all over Europe and to guarantee the rules are well applied.
The good news for European citizens does not end here. Additionally to end of roaming charges, European citizens can travel with their digital subscriptions since 1 April this year. Starting from 3 December this year the European consumers will be able to find the best deals online when buying goods and services across the EU without being discriminated based on nationality and residence.”