Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

End of Roaming surcharges! Consumers will pay only 1.14 cents/minute for calls received until June 2017

Article
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The Commission has just adopted new implementing rules which set out the maximum charges that consumers can be charged for receiving phone calls when roaming abroad in the EU.

The new cap is set at 1.14 cent (excluding VAT) per minute of call received, almost five times cheaper than the current cap of 5 cent per minute (excluding VAT).  This completes the set of maximum roaming surcharges that consumers will pay from 30 April 2016 until June 2017 when roaming surcharges are finally abolished in the EU.

 

1 July 2014

30 April 2016

15 June 2017

Outgoing voice calls (per minute)

€0.19

domestic price + up to €0.05

no extra roaming fee, same as national rate

Incoming voice calls (per minute)

€0.05

1.14 €cent

no extra roaming fee, same as national rate

Outgoing texts (per SMS message)

€0.06

domestic price + up to €0.02

no extra roaming fee, same as national rate

Online (data download, per MB*)

€0.20

domestic price + up to €0.05

no extra roaming fee, same as national rate

The new cap has been calculated according the method outlined in the new EU Roaming rules, agreed by the European Council and Parliament in late October 2015 (see press announcement and fact sheet)

Background

The European Commission is currently working on a number of technical measures related to the end of roaming charges in the EU and has recently launched a public consultation.

The end of roaming as of June 2017 will be secured via an obligation imposed to operators of mobile telecommunications not to levy any surcharge in addition to the domestic retail price on a roaming customer in any Member State for any roaming call made or received, for any roaming SMS message sent and for any data roaming services used. This is subject to fair use policy and to an exceptional sustainability mechanism.

In that context, this public consultation serves three quite distinct (but interlinked) purposes.

First, it will gather input for the wholesale roaming review in order to assess the functioning of roaming markets in the EU and the current regulation of national wholesale roaming markets in the EU against the obligation laid down in the Regulation to abolish retail roaming surcharges by 15 June 2017. The Commissoin will report on this issue to the European Parliament and the Council and will make possible legislative proposals by 15 June 2016

Second, the Commission must lay down detailed rules on the application of fair use policy by the end of 2016, the public consultation seeks views on which detailed rules are needed for the application of fair use policies to the consumption of roaming services at domestic prices.  Third, the Commission must also lay down detailed rules, by the end of 2016, on the sustainability mechanism foreseeen in the Regulation in a context where roaming services are offered at domestic prices. The public consultation seeks views on the most appropriate content and design of the methodology for assessing whether the abolition of retail roaming surcharges would undermine the sustainability of the domestic price model of a given operator. The Commission will adopt the necessary detailed rules in both respects by 15 December 2016.