Published: Thu, 01 October 2015
Sean Kelly MEP has welcomed today’s decision by the Council of the European Union to end mobile roaming charges in Europe as of mid-2017.
“The Competitiveness Council today (October 1st) adopted, without discussion, new rules which will prevent mobile operators charging their customers extortionate fees for using their mobile phone in another EU country. They also approved the first EU-wide provisions to safeguard open internet access”.
Net Neutrality will ensure Europeans have access to the online content and services without any interference – like blocking or slowing down by Internet access providers. This is a crucial point for business people and SMEs that need to have an online presence, according to Mr Kelly.
“Today’s step is the latest in a long process since I and other MEP colleagues began a campaign to abolish roaming charges in Europe some years ago. The European Parliament is expected to adopt this Council-approved text in late October and the regulation is expected to enter into force in November,” Mr Kelly explained.
“Currently, when travelling in another EU country, mobile phone users will pay no more than 19 cent per minute to make a voice call from their mobiles. Users will be charged 5 cent per minute to receive a call and no more than 6 cent per text message sent. The maximum data download charge will be 20 cent per megabyte.
“From April 2016, prices will be even cheaper, again thanks to the European Parliament which has ensured operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount on top of domestic prices: up to 5 cent per minute of call made, 2 cent per SMS sent, and 5 cent per MB of data (excl. VAT).
“And now, we have confirmation that mobile roaming charges will be abolished by mid-2017. Good news for consumers,” the Ireland South MEP said.