Intra-EU communication caps
Intra-EU communication caps apply from 15 May 2019. This means any retail price charged to consumers for regulated intra-EU communications shall not exceed €0,19 (+ VAT) per minute for calls and €0,06 (+ VAT) per SMS message.
The EU has made efforts to reduce the prices of electronic communications between EU countries. One of the main achievements for the Digital Single Market was the end of roaming charges in 2017 and now the EU capped intra-EU communications prices.
The regulation introducing intra-EU caps ensures that these rules will not distort competition, innovation and investment. That means that NRAs may, in exceptional circumstances, grant a derogation from the price regulation of intra-EU communications. The derogation is intended for exceptional circumstances, where the application of the price-caps would significantly impact a provider's capacity to sustain its existing prices for domestic communications.
The cap applies to calls and SMS from one EU Member State to other EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. For calls and SMS originating in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein the rules are applicable from the date they are incorporated in the EEA agreement.
Intra-EU communications in the past
The new rules will ensure that consumers are protected from excessive prices for intra-EU communications. The data collected by the Commission in recent studies and a Eurobarometer survey has shown that a significant number of consumers in most Member States are using traditional communications such as telephony calls and SMS. The prices of these services to call abroad in the EU, in some Member States, largely exceed the prices for domestic calls and that there were significant price differences between EU countries.
On average, the standard price of a fixed or mobile intra-EU call tends to be three times higher than the standard price of a domestic call and the standard price of an intra-EU SMS more than twice as expensive as a domestic one. However, those arithmetic averages hide significant differences across Member States. In some cases the standard price of an intra-EU call can be up to ten times higher than the standard price for domestic calls.
- Questions and answers on intra EU calls and SMS tariffs.
- Press release on 13th May.
- Flash Eurobarometer survey on Intra-EU calls.
- Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of 11 December 2018 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Agency for Support for BEREC (BEREC Office), amending Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009.
- Study on intra-EU calls.
- Joint statement by Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Gabriel welcoming the European Parliament's vote on the new EU telecoms rules.