Published: Tue, 30 June 2015
Mobile phone roaming charges will cease to exist in Europe from June 15th, 2017, Seán Kelly MEP confirmed in Brussels today, following an agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).
“The roaming rip-off will end in 2017 thanks to a lengthy campaign by me and my fellow members of the Industry Committee of the European Parliament, which led the push to abolish roaming charges.
“Negotiators also reached an agreement on Net Neutrality which 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 crucial for business people and SMEs that need to have an online presence,” Mr Kelly said.
“We operate in a Single Market in Europe. It is nonsensical and a total abuse of power over consumers that they were subjected to outrageous roaming charges when travelling in another EU country. Thankfully, the Parliament already succeeded in securing a deal to lower the tariffs in the interim period so the bills have been drastically reduced in the meantime.”
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 when 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).
Since being elected to the European Parliament in 2009, the Ireland South MEP campaigned for reduced roaming rates and the complete abolishment of roaming fees.
MEP Kelly advises consumers to seek out the best deal when choosing a network provider.