Although, the EU officials have hinted that roaming charges might be abolished all together, in all likelihood that will not happen any time soon. Good news is, as announced on the margins of the EU-Western Balkan Summit in Sofia, that Serbia roaming charges will be reduced soon.
“It has been announced that the roaming liberalization should take place in the coming months. It is expected that the roaming charges will be reduced to 76 euro-cents per minute in six months to a year”, one of the summit participants has said.
The European Commission would monitor the implementation of this measure in the first two
years. This would put pressure on mobile telephony operators to reduce the prices. Otherwise, if the EC is not involved, the operators will probably to prolong the use of the new tariff as long as possible. The European Commission is already talking to individual mobile operators and checking their ability to charge the new price.
This would mark the beginning of the liberalization of roaming between Serbia and the EU, and prices will be adjusted in accordance with the market developments later on.
If this happens, it would mean that our citizens would enjoy the benefits that all citizens of the European Union have even before joining the EU. It would also mean that mobile communication between the citizens of Serbia and our diaspora in Europe would be cheaper too. Also, business people will benefit too, as would Serbs vacationing abroad, especially in Greece, Spain and Croatia.
Three years ago, Serbia signed a treaty with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia stipulating reduction of roaming charges.
“It took the EU ten years to agree with telecom operators on the elimination of roaming charges in the countries of the Union, so you can imagine what it takes to have this directive apply to the countries that are in the process of accession”, said Serbian Minister of Trade, Rasim Ljajic.
European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has confirmed that the price of mobile data in roaming will be cheaper as of next year for the EU and Western Balkan countries, and will cost 70 euro-cents per megabyte.
“As of 1st August, 2018, telecom operators will start offering packages with megabyte prices several times lower than the current ones. Our goal is that, by July 2019, the single price for all countries should be 70 euro-cents per megabyte, followed by 45 euro-cents in 2020, and 20 euro-cents by 2021”, Gabriel said.
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