On September 5th,2016, the European Commission issued a new European regulation about roaming prices within Europe. The regulation aims to put an end to high roaming prices from mobile carriers.
European Commission wants to stop the roaming system in Europe, which means that they don’t want EU citizens with a mobile plan service to pay more when they use their phone abroad. This concerns only European countries. In fact, nowadays people going abroad pay a higher cost to send an SMS, make calls or use the internet. The EU Commission decided to cap the prices of roaming with this new regulation, in order to allow consumers to access Internet from mobile when going to another European country. The regulation will enter into force in 2017 and seems bring to a close the cross-border mobile prices.
However, there are some limits. Mobile carriers only have to guarantee 90 days of “free” roaming per year, with the limit of 30 consecutive days. For example, a French citizen can go three times to Italy for 30 days maximum, and their mobile plan there without having to pay higher price for the service. After this 90 day period, the price for roaming cannot exceed the limit imposed by the Commission: 4 additional cents by minute for a call, 1 additional cent by SMS sent, and 0.85 additional cents by MBe consumed.
“European Commission wants to stop the roaming system in Europe, by 2017”
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Some exceptions are provided to those crossing the European border every day to go to work as they don’t pay roaming at all and are free to pay for the mobile services in the country they live or work.
This regulation still has to be discussed by the institutions that control the communication system in each European country. The definitive measures about price and period of free roaming will be adopted from December 15th, 2016 on.
Consumers associations regret that “free roaming” will be available only for a certain period of time; but that should not be a problem as, according to surveys, the average numbers of days spent abroad by European in other EU countries is 6 days per year. Of course, mobile carriers do not welcome this new regulation.