Free roaming in Europe until 2032

It seems like it was yesterday, but the truth is that Five years have passed since the citizens of the European Union experienced the end of roaming or, to be more exact, the cost of the same when we used the mobile outside our country and when we established international calls within the EU. After many years with twists and turns on the matter, in February 2017 the necessary agreements were reached, and in June of the same year the costs of roaming in the European territory were equal to the national ones.

At that time, the measure was approved until June 30, 2022, that is, yesterday, so it needed to be renewed, otherwise we would have returned to the previous situation, that is, to very, very high roaming rates. And, luckily, as our colleagues from MuyComputerPRO already told us at the end of last year, the European Union was already quite advanced in its duties, although at that time nothing had been made official yet.

The good news is that, although impossible at the last minute, the European Commission closed yesterday the last changes and approved the new Regulation on improved roaming which, unlike its first edition, will be extended for a period of ten years, until 2032, in addition to contemplating certain improvements with respect to the initial version of it, which improve the conditions of free roaming within the European Union.

Possibly the most notable point is that, when we are making use of the data connection in roaming, we will have the right to the same connection quality abroad as we have in our home countries. Mobile service operators must ensure that consumers have access to 4G networks, or more advanced 5G, if they are available in the destination the consumer is visiting. In addition, operators must provide information on network availability both in service contracts and on their web pages.

Additionally, the European Commission also imposes on operators that, when roaming users access mobile connection services through non-terrestrial networkssuch as those that can be found on boats and aircraft, operators will have to inform users of this circumstance and its costs, as well as automatically interrupt mobile services if mobile services through non-terrestrial networks reach 50 euros or other predetermined limit.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: Thanks to our Roaming Regulation, we have all been able to enjoy ‘roaming like at home’. We can all make calls, send messages and use the internet when traveling in the EU at no additional cost. And this is a very tangible benefit of our single European market. The extension of these rules will keep prices competitive between operators and allow consumers to continue to enjoy free roaming services for the next ten years.

For his part, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, stated: Remember when we had to turn off mobile data when traveling in Europe to avoid ending up with an exorbitant roaming bill? Well, that is now history, and we want it to remain so for the next ten years. More speed and more transparency: we continue to improve the lives of EU citizens.

More information: European Commission

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