Roaming between two countries refers to the ability of mobile phone users to use their devices while traveling in both countries without incurring additional charges or having to obtain a new SIM card.
From 1 July this year, Albania and Kosovo citizens will start talking on a mobile with cheaper roaming tariffs when they are in each other’s states and starting from July 2020 or 2021 the tariffs will be the same as in the home.
This is expected to benefit especially citizens from Kosovo, who are big internet users when they come to Albania, while the losses of mobile operators in Albania amount to about 150 thousand euros per year.
The Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) has issued for consultation the public document for the regulation of International Roaming Services Tariffs Albania-Kosovo.
The document was drafted on 26.11.2018 at the joint meeting of the Governments of the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Kosovo, the ministries responsible for the electronic communications of the two countries signed an agreement for the abolition of the prices of roaming services for the public communications networks mobile between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Albania “. Responsible ministries agreed that the implementation of the new regime would begin gradually from June 15, 2019, according to a plan and deadlines agreed upon between the regulators.
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Regarding the legal basis for the roaming tariff regulation, the two countries have agreed on the adoption of any legal change for electronic communications to enable the implementation of the agreement by the two countries regulators (AKEP for Albania and ARKEP for Kosov0).
In order to begin implementation of the agreement AKEP has cooperated with ARKEP for the preparation of this document and has held bilateral meetings with mobile operators, including a joint meeting between the Regulators and mobile operators of the two countries, held in Prishtina on 21.01. 2019.
High traffic use of the internet by Kosovo citizens in Albania
The data shows a huge increase in the use of roaming by Kosovo citizens in Albania, especially for data (Internet). While the use of roaming minutes between the two countries is balanced, the use of SMS and data has great changes. In 2017 Kosovo citizens used 3 times more SMS and 31 times more data (internet) during roaming in Albania than Albanian citizens during roaming in Kosovo. Between 2017 and 2018, the amount of data used by Kosovo in roaming in Albania was about 80 000 GB, while the amount of data used by mobile subscribers in Albania roaming in Kosovo increased by 22 percent, but again this level is 25 times lower than the roaming of Kosovo users in Albania.
In 2018, mobile users in Albania are using 1. 2 million minutes, 6 million SMS and 5 thousand GB of Internet roaming in Kosovo. While in 2018, mobile users of Kosovo used 1.7 million minutes, 13.6 million SMS and 82 thousand GB of Internet roaming in Albania.
It’s a good idea to check with your service provider for details on roaming fees and to make sure you understand the costs involved before you travel.