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Telecoms in EU and Moldova agree on lowering roaming tariffs from 1 January 2024

The Commission welcomes the Joint Declaration from EU and Moldovan telecom operators for lower roaming charges. eu moldova roaming

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The Declaration, facilitated by the Commission and Moldovan authorities, will bring benefits to citizens and businesses alike in the EU Member States, the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Republic of Moldova. Citizens travelling between these countries will soon enjoy lower charges on their calls, data, and texts. They will be able to stay in touch with friends and family more easily, and businesses will also benefit from reduced costs.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “I warmly welcome today’s agreement between mobile operators to lower data and voice roaming charges. This is a significant step, which will benefit people and companies alike in the EU and of the Republic of Moldova, bringing us closer together as the Republic of Moldova continues its candidacy journey.”

The Declaration is a voluntary commitment from mobile operators to offer lower roaming tariffs to citizens and businesses in the EU/EEA and the Republic of Moldova respectively. It reflects the shared goal to ensure a long-term roaming arrangement and to bring the Republic of Moldova into the EU roaming area.

Signatories of the Declaration have agreed to a number of common goals, which citizens will begin to benefit from as of 1 January 2024.

These include, among others: eu moldova roaming

  • A commitment to affordable retail roaming offers for those travelling between the EU/EEA and the Republic of Moldova;
  • An upper retail price cap, to be unanimously agreed and announced by 1 October 2023;
  • An assessment of a wholesale roaming cap for the provision of roaming services at or below the agreed retail cap;
  • A renegotiation of wholesale roaming agreements, where required, in order to take into account the reduction of international termination rates and to enable the provision of roaming services at or below the agreed retail cap;
  • Ensure retail offers that are available to the widest number of end users.

Among the first signatories on the EU side are the Orange group, DT group and Telefonica group, covering several Member States in the EU. On the Moldovan side, signatures include Orange Moldova, Moldtelecom and Moldcell.

The Declaration will apply until 31 December 2025 and could be renewed after that date. It is voluntary and remains open for all operators willing to sign at any time.

Background

Since being granted candidate status in June 2022, the Republic of Moldova has expressed a strong interest in reflecting single-market rules in the telecom sector. The Commission shares its goal of bringing the Republic of Moldova into the EU’s Roam like at Home area, which has benefited millions of citizens across the EU already, and represents a fundamental element of the Single Market. 

The Declaration complements Moldova’s decision to lower their international termination rates for voice calls to the level of the regulated rates in the EU, the so-called ‘Eurorate’, from 1 January 2024. Termination rates for voice calls make up a large part of roaming costs, therefore this reduction enables the lowering of voice roaming tariffs. It reflects the shared goal of EU and Moldovan authorities to ensure a long-term roaming arrangement and bring the Republic of Moldova into the EU roaming area.

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