The European Parliament has approved the agreement from June 30, 2015 on the abolition of additional roaming charges, which we have already mentioned in our previous article. As a result of that people crossing the borders of EU member states will not have to worry about any additional charges.
This means that after June 15, 2017, while travelling within the borders of the European Union, it will be possible to use mobile services on the same basis as in the home country. If a mobile user is subscribed to a monthly plan, the cost of minutes, text messages or data transmission will be counted towards the plan limits. All other charges will be the same as offered by a given service provider in the home country. This is a significant difference even in comparison with the current roaming charges, which are very low. If the user’s plan includes a package of minutes, data and text messages (to use within a given country), the cost of international roaming can be considerable. Currently all the services used outside the home country are paid for separately along with additional roaming charges (in case of not having purchased a package of services available in EU countries). The monthly package available in the home country stays unused.
The roaming charges will be eliminated in steps. In April 2016 these services will be made even cheaper. When traveling within the EU, the call prices will be €0.05 higher for each minute, €0.02 for each text message sent and €0.05 for each megabyte of data used (not including VAT).
The new regulations also take into account the protection of service providers against unwanted and excessive use of free roaming in the EU. This particularly applies to a situation when a subscription plan or prepaid service is bought in a home country, where lower rates of mobile operators apply, but are used outside of the country or in continuous manner. Such an example of permanent roaming could have a negative impact on domestic prices of services and on consumers using them. After exceeding the limits of roaming services the operator will be able to add additional standard roaming charges, which will, however, be lower than the present rates.
In conclusion, next holiday we will pay less for roaming within the European Union. Additionally in two years time, there will be no difference in mobile phone charges across the whole European Union. However, it should be remembered that mobile operators will still be able to charge their users who will overuse their SIM cards beyond their national borders.