EU decision due on abolishing mobile roaming charges


Consumers are set to learn if mobile roaming charges across the EU are to be scrapped when the proposal goes to a final vote in the European Parliament.

Mobile phone users will pay the same price to make calls, send text messages and use data wherever they are in the EU from June 15, 2017 under the plan announced by the European Commission in June.

This means users within the EU would be charged the same as they would in their home country.

The rules have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council with a vote today.

Roaming charges will become cheaper from April next year, when operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic prices of up to 0.05 euro (3p) per minute of call made, 0.02 euro (1p) per SMS sent, and 0.05 euro (3p) per MB of data, excluding VAT.

The proposals aim to prevent consumers receiving huge bills after downloading films or other data while travelling in Europe.

And under new net neutrality rules, users across the EU will be free to access the content of their choice and will no longer be unfairly blocked or slowed down.

This means access to a start-up's website will not be unfairly slowed down to make way for bigger companies, the EC said.

No service will be hampered because it does not pay an additional fee to internet service providers.

All internet traffic will be treated equally, subject to strict and clearly identified public-interest exceptions such as network security or combating child pornography.