European Parliament takes final step to abolish EU roaming charges

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European Parliament takes final step to abolish EU roaming charges

A vote by the European Parliament has confirmed that roaming charges in the EU will be abolished from 15 June.10 Apr 2017

The Parliament voted by 549 votes to 27 to endorse a deal on wholesale price caps that it had already agreed with the Commission and Council of Ministers, it said. The deal defines how much mobile operators can charge one another when customers use their phones abroad.

Wholesale price caps will now be €0.032 per voice call, and €0.01 per text message. Data charges will gradually reduce, from €7.70 per gigabyte on 15 June to €2.50 by the start of 2022.

Lower caps for data transfers will allow EU consumers to access more data such as audio-visual content when travelling, potentially opening up markets for small and virtual telecoms operators, the Parliament said. 

EU telecoms providers cut consumer surcharges for roaming phone calls and data use in EU countries from 30 April 2016, and these charges will be completely abolished on 15 June, subject to a 'fair use' policy that the Commission will put in place. The Commission is now considering what the fair use cap might be. 

It emerged last year that the Commission will propose extra fees for users with unlimited deals or cut-off points after users have used a set amount of data.