Use of Mobile Phones Ten Times Higher After EU Roaming Abolition

The Commission has published today the first full review of the roaming market, showing that travellers across the EU have benefited a lot from the end of roaming charges in June 2017

The European Commission published some interesting data on Friday showing an unprecedented surge in the use of mobile phones across the EU after 2017’s ban on roaming charges inside the European Union.


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The Commission published its first full review of the roaming market, showing that travelers across the Union have benefited a great deal from the outlawing of roaming charges inside the nations of the EU.

Back in June of 2017, all European mobile phone providers were obliged to abolish any additional charges they had had in place when their customers traveled from one member state to another.

Since then, hundreds of millions of customers have been able to enjoy the same mobile phone services at the same rates, no matter where they are inside the EU.

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said: “The review showcases once again how successful the abolition of roaming charges has been. Europeans are largely benefitting from the opportunity to use their mobile devices freely while travelling. At the same time, we can also clearly see that the EU roaming market continues to function well. Contrary to the fears of higher domestic prices due to the end of roaming charges, domestic prices for mobile services have actually overall decreased across the EU.

According to the Commission data, the use of mobile data while traveling in the EU has increased tenfold compared to the year before the so-called ”Roam-Like-at-Home” legislation took effect.

Hitting a peak of 12 times higher mobile data use during the summer holiday season of 2018, the roaming charge ban makes it much cheaper for Europeans to spend their holidays in another European country.

The law applies not only to the 28 member states who are full members of the EU but to the EEA countries as well, effectively abolishing roaming charges even in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway.


At wholesale level, the sharp reduction in price caps has contributed to a further reduction in wholesale roaming prices, which in turn makes end of roaming charges sustainable for almost all roaming providers.

The report concludes that the competition dynamics in the roaming market are not likely to change in the near future, which means that the current retail and wholesale regulation is still necessary. The current rules for roaming should continue to apply in the coming years to ensure that citizens can benefit from roaming at no additional cost within the EU.

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