Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative


Going abroad? EU rules keep down the cost of using your mobile phone and smart device.
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When you travel to a foreign country with your mobile phone, you are roaming - your mobile phone company and one in the foreign country work together to keep you connected, so you can make and receive mobile phone calls, write text messages, surf the Web and download content. These roaming charges will cease to exist in the EU as of 15 June 2017.

The infographic describes the roaming charges in Europe starting in 2016

High premiums for roaming and intra-EU calls are an excessive irritant to business and leisure customers; they are a market distortion with no rational place in a single market – they teach users to fear their phones instead of using them. To tackle this issue, on  11 September 2013, the European Commission adopted a legislative package for a "Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market" aimed at building a connected, competitive continent and enabling sustainable digital jobs and industries.

In October 2015 the European Parliament's plenary voted in favour to end roaming charges by June 2017 (see details). Consumers will pay the same price for calls, texts and mobile data wherever they are travelling in the EU. Calling a friend when you are at home or in another EU country won't make a difference on your bill.

Already from April 2016, roaming will become even cheaper: operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic prices up to €0.05 per minute of call made, €0.02 per SMS sent, and €0.05 per MB of data (excl. VAT).

The European Commission's first rules to address overcharging in roaming prices came in 2007 - the “Eurotariff” capped maximum prices for phone calls made and received while abroad. These maximum prices apply to all consumers, unless they opt for special packages offered by operators. These rules have since been periodically reviewed and reformed, with further reductions in price caps and automatic protections against data roaming bill shocks.

The results on roaming tariffs speak for themselves:

  • The EU has achieved retail price reductions across calls, SMS and data of over 80% since 2007;
  • Data roaming is now up to 91% cheaper compared to 2007;
  • Since 2007, the volume of the data roaming market has grown by 630%.


Last updated on 27/10/2015 - 15:31


Roberto Viola's picture
Roberto VIOLA
Following the landmark political agreement reached on 30th June to end roaming surcharges and guarantee an open internet in the Digital Single Market (DSM), the European Commission is now launching a comprehensive 360° review of the EU telecoms rules. And we will need your input.
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