EU scraps mobile phone roaming charges

Brussels: The European Union (EU) has enacted a legislation ending roaming fees for mobile phone users across the 27-member bloc.

“You will not have roaming charges when traveling to another EU country from 15 June 2017,” the EU said in a statement on Thursday.

“Every existing or new contract that includes roaming services will change,” it added, saying the new rules cover data services, voice calls and SMS messaging.

“Roam like at Home” is the slogan adopted by the EU.

The European Commission’s (EC) spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said that “after celebrating 30 years of our Erasmus programme, earlier this week, today we are demonstrating another tangible way the EU can provide benefits to its citizens.”

EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said the end of roaming charges was a genuine European success.

“The EU is about bringing people together and making their lives easier,” he said.

For a decade, EU officials have been working to reduce, and ultimately end, “excessive” roaming charges that telecom operators imposed on their customers each time they crossed an EU internal border, either on holiday or on business trips.

As part of this plan, roaming prices have decreased by more than 90 per cent since 2007.

Most of the mobile telecoms companies operating in the European markets have already complied, with the exception of a few such as Spain’s Telefonica and Italy’s Tim, who continued till Thursday before eliminating their roaming surcharge.