Citizens of the European Union will be able to continue using their mobiles without additional costs when traveling to other EU countries, thanks to the agreement reached by representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union to extend free roaming rules, which were agreed in 2017 and that if there was no agreement they would end next June. Luckily, it won’t.
Negotiators have agreed to expand the rules established for operators on roaming, as well as on guaranteeing the quality and speed of calls and messages, as well as the use of mobile data in other countries in the area. In addition, they have also decided to add several obligations that they will have to fulfill. Among them, that if consumers exceed the limits of their contract when they are roaming, the additional charges they would have to face in order to continue using their terminals may not be higher than those set by the limits imposed by the caps. roaming that we will see below.
Negotiators have also decided to impose price caps on the amounts that operators charge each other for the use of networks in other countries, known as wholesale charges. Starting in 2022, they will have a ceiling of two euros for each Gigabyte, a limit that will gradually decrease until it reaches one euro in 2027.
However, during the negotiation, the members of the European Parliament withdrew their request to include a ban on excessive costs for calls from one country to numbers of another that is a member of the EU. These are known as intra-community calls, and according to the negotiators, the Commission has to assess whether a ban like this will be necessary in 2023. The new rules approved, as planned for several months now, They will enter into force on July 1, 2022, and will be in force until June 2032.
Of course, for now the agreement reached is informal, as it will have to be formally endorsed by Parliament and the European Council to enter into force. The EU Energy, Research and Industry Committee will vote on the text at a future meeting.
According Angelika winzig. the head of the negotiations for the European Parliament agreement, notes that “we have been able to reach an agreement that is progressive and leads to better quality and service for European citizens. We are creating a fairer roaming market, focusing especially on smaller operators by significantly lowering wholesale limits. As Chief Negotiator in the European Parliament, my aim was to improve the situation significantly for consumers. We have been successful in securing a new regulation that offers exactly that, as well as offering sufficient flexibility to react to developments in the technology and telecommunications sectors. This is how we ensure that the EU is always vigilant. Today’s agreement is one step closer to a Single Digital Market«.