5th December 2016

Euractiv.com: Ministers agree on ‘sustainably’ ending roaming charges

The Council of the European Union adopted on 2 December a solution to end roaming fees in 2017 while lessening the impact on mobile operators. But consumer organisations warned against operators hiking domestic prices as compensation, euractiv.com wrote.

The new draft regulation will serve as the starting point for negotiations with the European Parliament. The reform must be in place by 15 June 2017 so that roaming fees can be abolished as laid down in last year’s roaming regulation. 

The draft regulation lays down limits for what operators may charge each other for the use of their networks for roaming services. These caps cover voice calls, SMS messages and the use of data.

The general approach introduces a declining glide path, with the maximum charge starting from €0.01/MB in mid-2017 and dropping gradually to €0.005/MB in mid-2021.

Diminishing caps reflect the expectation that the cost of providing wholesale roaming services will fall in the coming years. 

The wholesale price cap for data is a crucial element in this review. The use of data on mobile devices has been increasing exponentially in recent years and is expected to continue to soar. With the end of roaming fees, data consumption abroad is expected to follow a similar trend.

For phone calls, the maximum surcharge would be €0.0353/min, and for text messages, €0.01 per message.

Read the article (in English).

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic