By Chris King • 13 December 2021 • 20:31
In 2017, the European Union (EU) agreed to end the free mobile phone roaming service in Europe. This was despite the fact that the agreement was to end definitively on June 30, 2022.
Today, Monday, December 13, the European Commission has announced a new regulation relating to this, in which free roaming is now extended throughout Europe, until 2032. This means that users will be able to make calls or continue using the internet when they are outside their country of origin, and will not have to pay additional costs.
In a statement, the European Council clarified that, “The extension of the regulation will ensure that people can make phone calls, send text messages, and surf the internet, while traveling to EU countries other than their own, without fear of suffering a terrible shock when they receive their operator’s invoice”.
This new regulation will come into force on July 1, 2022, accompanied by certain changes for phone operators.
The statement also pointed out that telephone operators are being informed that consumers should enjoy the same quality of service when they are travelling as when they are at home. In addition, that roaming should not cause a reduction in the speed of their internet connection. Operators must also inform users if there are certain factors that can affect the quality of service they receive.
There will still be certain cases in which an extra charge can be billed. Such as calling from a country where roaming is paid, or when making a call to customer support numbers, helpdesk services, or insurance companies.
A predefined monetary limit – at which point the call will cut – must be set by operators, to prevent consumers unknowingly running up a large charge on their bill. Operators will be legally obliged to inform consumers of all surcharges that could be incurred abroad.
Lower wholesale rates are established in this regulation. According to the European Commission, “These are costs charged by local mobile operators in exchange for access to their networks, that allow customers to benefit from roaming services abroad”.
These are the maximum prices that the European Union will set, and that all operators must comply with:
€2/GB in 2022, €1.8/GB in 2023, €1.55/GB in 2024, €1.3/GB in 2025, €1.1/GB in 2026, and €1/GB in 2027, in advance.
For voicemail: €0.022/min in 2022-2024, and €0.019/min from 2025 onwards.
SMS: €0.004/SMS in 2022-2024, and €0.003/SMS from 2025 onwards, as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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