Newsbrief: End of high EU roaming charges in sight, to begin June 2017

A European Union political agreement between the representatives of the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission has been announced as a final achievement that looks set to finally make proposals for the so-called “roam-like-at-home” project start working as of 15 June 2017, as foreseen in the Telecom Single Market (TSM) regulations passed some time ago.

This effectively means that when travelling in the EU, consumers will be able to make calls, send SMS messages and surf on their mobile devices for the same price as they pay at home. The agreement makes “roam-like-at-home” sustainable for people and businesses, while ensuring cost recovery and keeping national wholesale roaming markets competitive.

EU negotiators agreed on the following wholesale caps:
-3.2 cents per minute of voice call, as of 15 June 2017
– 1 cent per SMS, as of 15 June 2017
-A step by step reduction over 5 years for data caps decreasing from €7.7 per GB (as of 15 June 2017) to €6 per GB (as of 1 January 2018), €4.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2019), €3.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2020), €3 per GB (as of 1 January 2021) and €2.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2022).

So, the EU negotiators have finally agreed on wholesale prices and agreed on how to regulate wholesale roaming markets, the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU.

Consumers can use their home subscriptions when travelling periodically abroad. If consumers exceed their contract limits when roaming, any additional charges will not be higher than the wholesale roaming caps agreed.
The Commission will conduct a review of the wholesale market by the end of 2019 and provide the co­legislators with an interim assessment by 15 December 2018.

The European Parliament and the Council must now formally approve the agreement reached. The new wholesale roaming prices should become applicable on 15 June 2017, in time for operators to take all the necessary preparatory steps for the introduction of roam-like-at-home by that date.