Roaming data allowance free of extra charges up 22 % as of Jan 1, 2020, Romania watchdog announced

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The roaming data allowance (for use in the EU/the European Economic Area) free of extra charges has increased as of January 1, 2020, while the surcharges applicable for exceeding the reasonable usage limit have decreased beginning with the same date, the National Communications Administration and Regulation Authority (ANCOM) announced in a release on Thursday.

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“Starting January 1, 2020, as a result of the decrease in the regulated wholesale fee for most data plans, the volume of roaming data (MB/GB) for use in the EU/EEA has been increased with no extra charges. Also from this date, the surcharges applicable to subsequent data usage in case the reasonable usage limit for roaming services in the EU/EEA is exceeded, have also decreased as follows: the data surcharge has been lowered by approximately 22 percent from 4.5 to 3.5 euros/GB, VAT excluded; the surcharge for incoming calls is by about 7 percent lower, at 0.79 eurocents instead of 0.85 eurocents/minute, VAT excluded. In 2020 the maximum surcharge provider RCS & RDS SA is authorized to charge its clients on roaming incoming calls in the EEA, under the terms provided for in Decision No. 679/2019 of the ANCOM President, has been cut from 0.85 to 0.79 eurocents/minute, VAT excluded,” the Authority said.

The local telecom market watchdog notes that, starting with January 1, 2020, the volume of reasonable data usage has increased by approximately 22 percent from the volume in force during January 1 – December 31, 2019.
When you travel outside the EU/EEA, ANCOM recommends that you check whether the purchased tariff plan includes the international roaming service or not. One can benefit from international roaming only if the provider offering the respective tariff plan has concluded roaming agreements with the providers in the host countries.
Since the charges for roaming services offered outside the EEA are not regulated, ANCOM recommends the users to check the applicable international roaming charges before travelling to countries such as the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Israel, Canada, or the United States of America.
The EUR 50 default ceiling for data roaming
The users travelling abroad have the right to benefit from a default financial ceiling when using the roaming mobile internet service. Providers have the obligation to cut off a user’s access to roaming mobile internet services when the additional charges for using this service reach the EUR 50/month ceiling (VAT not included), where the user has not utterly opted for a different ceiling in the providers’ commercial offers or where he/she has not explicitly chosen to ignore the default ceiling.
The operators must warn the users, by means of SMS, e-mails or pop-up windows, when the total international data roaming (MB/GB) consumption hits 80% of the agreed ceiling, as well as when consumption has reached the respective ceiling. Usually, operators send such notifications by SMS, and, if one wishes to keep using the roaming internet service, he/she must reply sending ”YES” by SMS.
The costs of using roaming internet services in countries outside the EEA (e.g. Turkey) are usually high, therefore the default cap may be reached immediately after connecting to the visited network, in a single session. When a user agrees to continue or resume service usage after the provider’s warning that the cap has been reached, he/she consents to incur a cost above this limit, and the default ceiling will be deactivated for that billing month.
In border areas, your device may connect automatically to a network in the neighbouring country, although you are not physically in that country. For example, if you are visiting Italy, at the border with Switzerland, you may automatically connect to a network in Switzerland. In such situations, you will receive an information message containing the tariffs for the roaming services applicable in Switzerland and you will have to keep in mind the fact that connecting to a network outside the EU involves higher charges, therefore you could hit the EUR 50 (VAT not included) ceiling sooner than expected.

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