The European Commission has announced that it is one step closer to abolishing cellphone roaming charges. As of June 15 this year, EU citizens will no longer be charged excessive fees when making calls and sending texts between other countries in the EU.
The EU has been working to put a stop to roaming charges for many years, but there have been a number of stumbling blocks along the way. One of the biggest has been deciding on prices for calls and texts between EU countries.
However, the European Commission has now confirmed that those prices have finally been agreed, paving the way for the “roam-like-at-home” plan. “This was the last piece of the puzzle,” said Andrus Ansip, vice president for the Digital Single Market.
As of June 15, EU citizens making calls to and from other EU countries will pay just 3.2 cents per minute for voice calls, while text messages will be charged at 1 cent each. The prices are designed to mirror the costs customers would expect to pay when using their phone at home.
It’s a slightly different story for data, however, which is always more expensive. Although it will get cheaper, the price cuts will come in phases over five years. Here’s what customers can expect to pay:
- As of June 15, 2017: €7.70 per GB
- As of January 1, 2018: €6 per GB
- As of January 1, 2019: €4.50 per GB
- As of January 1, 2020: €3.50 per GB
- As of January 1, 2021: €3 per GB
- As of January 1, 2022: €2.50 per GB
“The agreement makes ‘roam-like-at-home’ sustainable for people and businesses, while ensuring cost recovery and keeping national wholesale roaming markets competitive,” said the European Commission.