We all like the idea of being on holiday all the time, but if from June 2017 we’re a EU citizen and we can choose the cheapest domestic tariff in the whole of EU and Roam into our own country, what happens to our loyalty to our own countries mobile Operators? This Permanent Roaming scenario is being addressed in the new EU Roaming regulation bringing about a conflict to the message the press is telling us about Roaming rates being abolished. So how will the EU deal with this scenario…
Download this infographic: Copy of EU Roaming Regulation for 15th June 2017
As announced yesterday, the European Commission has welcomed the vote by the European Parliament’s plenary to adopt the agreement reached in June to end roaming charges by June 2017 and to set net neutrality rules for the first time in EU law.
Thanks to the European Union’s new roaming regulations, roaming tariffs will decrease from April 30, 2016, while on June 15, 2017 end-user roaming charges will be abolished altogether in the European Union.
Nowadays the roaming tariff is currently EUR 0.19 per minute for outgoing calls, which will decrease to EUR 0.05 in April 2016. Likewise, the cost of one SMS will decrease from EUR 0.06 to EUR 0.02, while the cost of one megabyte data transfer – from EUR 0.20 to EUR 0.05. As far as the cap on charges for incoming voice calls is concerned, it will be determined later this year and is expected to be considerably lower than for outgoing calls.
Once the roaming tariffs are abolished completely (mid June 2017), these costs will be the same as in the person’s home country, as shown by the following table:
|Type of charge||July 2014 to March 2016||April 2016||June 2017|
|Outgoing voice calls (per minute)||€0.19||€0.05||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
|Incoming voice calls (per minute)||€0.05||To be confirmed||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
|Outgoing texts (per SMS message)||€0.06||€0.02||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
|Online (data download, per MB)||€0.20||€0.05||No extra roaming fee, same as national rate|
However… that may not be true for all European customers!!!
In fact, there are specific scenarios, i.e. “Recovering costs” and “Preventing abuse” that may represent a true exception to the rule.
If operators can prove that they cannot recover their costs and that this affects domestic prices, NRAs (National Regulatory Authorities) may authorize them to impose minimal surcharges in exceptional circumstances to recover these costs..
To protect the industry against abuses such as “permanent roaming”, operators could in certain circumstances be allowed to charge a small fee, lower than current caps, according to a “fair use” policy. The exact details for this will be defined by the Commission and telecoms regulators.
Under the new agreement, mobile phone users travelling within the EU will pay the same price for calls, text messages and data as they do in their home country from 15 June 2017.
However, roaming providers will be able to apply a ‘fair use policy’ to prevent abusive use of roaming. This would include using roaming services for purposes other than periodic travel.
Although the removal of roaming charges could wipe two per cent off mobile operators’ revenues, the EU said that safeguards will be introduced to address the recovery of costs by operators.
The expected consolidation in the industry will also allow greater economies of scale for the high costs of building networks capable of handling ever-growing volumes of data.
Sources: The Telegraph, Europa.eu, Qz.com, Europarl