05.03.15

EU states want to to delay the abolition of roaming charges until at least 2018

EU Parliament had approved a "roam-like-at-home" package which would have ended roaming charges from end-2015

Justus Lipsius building: The headquarter of the Council

The EU member states want to delay the abolition of mobile phone roaming charges from the end of this year until at least 2018. The European Parliament last year approved a "roam-like-at-home" package which would have ended them altogether from end-2015. The Council of Ministers, however, decided on Wednesday to send the package back to parliament for further discussions, proposing instead a new pricing mechanism that should in the meantime mean lower costs. Within certain limits to be determined, consumers could make and receive calls, send SMSs and use data services without paying anything extra on top of the domestic fee. Once this basic roaming allowance is used up, the operator may charge a fee, but this fee will be much lower than current charges. The member states asked the Commission to assess by mid-2018 what further measures “may be needed with a view to phasing out roaming charges.” See also our cepBlog on the matter.