The European Union reached a provisional political agreement this Thursday to extend the end of “roaming” until 2032, in such a way that calls or mobile data consumption when traveling to another EU country will continue without incurring extra costs, such as It has occurred since June 2017, when the current regulations came into force.
It was then decided to review the initiative after five years and, the pact reached today by the community institutions, will allow Europeans to continue using the mobile phone under the same conditions contracted in their tariff, even if they are in another EU country.
In addition, citizens will have the right to surf the Internet with the same speed that they have contracted in their country of residence, as long as there are networks available, something that currently does not always happen, because according to the European Commission, 33% of consumers have had a worse quality when traveling abroad.
People traveling to another EU country will also have the right to access emergency services free of charge, either by calling or sending a text message, and should be given the option to send their location.
The pact reached between the European Commission, the Council of the EU (the Member States) and the European Parliament, which has yet to be formally ratified, obliges mobile phone operators to inform travelers of the extra costs they could pay if they call to customer service telephones, for example airlines or insurance companies.
“Spending the holidays in Greece, Austria or Bulgaria. Visiting clients or suppliers in Italy or Estonia. Traveling abroad without having to worry about phone bills is a tangible part of the EU single market experience for all Europeans. Today Not only are we making sure that this experience continues, but we are updating it: better quality, better services, even more transparency, “said European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton.
The agreement also contemplates the revision of the wholesale prices that operators pay each other every time a tourist uses their network. That cost will be capped at € 2 per gigabyte (Gb) from 2022 to € 1 in 2027. If consumers exceed the limits of their roaming contracts, the additional charges cannot exceed the wholesale roaming limits.
The Commission will keep the situation under review and, if appropriate, present a new legislative proposal to regulate maximum wholesale prices and possibly other aspects of the roaming market.
During the negotiations, MEPs lobbied to end surcharges for calls within the EU (for example, when calling from Belgium to Italy), as consumers are still confused about the difference between roaming calls and calls. calls within the EU.
Calls within the EU are currently limited to 19 cents per minute. The agreement provides for the Commission to examine the situation and assess whether a further reduction of the limits is necessary.
“This morning’s agreement is a further step towards a true digital single market and I am pleased that we can add a new chapter to this European success story,” said Parliament’s negotiator Angelika Winzing.
The Commission may suggest changes after a thorough analysis of the market and a due assessment of the potential impact. The revised regulation includes measures to ensure a good customer experience in terms of quality of service and access to emergency services, even for people with special needs.
It also increases the transparency of services that may be subject to additional costs and will also protect customers from changes in bills resulting from inadvertent roaming on non-terrestrial mobile networks when on ferries or airplanes.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.