End of Roaming Charges


14-Jun-2017
15 June, 2017 marks the abolishment of mobile roaming charges across the European Union. What does this entail?

This historical milestone means that whilst travelling across the EU, whether it is for business or pleasure, you can utilise your mobile phone as if you were at home. Previously, international EU mobile operators charged each other with expensive tariffs, meaning that you, as a European, had to pay additional charges for every mobile service executed whilst roaming. In return, all this resulted in more expensive mobile phone bills upon your return home. Now, following ten years of talks and debates at an EU level, the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU has concluded this file; a significant step towards a digital single market.  The figure below outlines the technical aspect of this remarkable achievement:​

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Upon agreeing with the ‘roam like at home’ mechanism, the European Parliament and the Council asked the Commission to develop a number of supporting measures to make this work in practice. This led to a legislative proposal to reform the wholesale roaming market by June15, 2016 and set the maximum prices operators may charge each other for the use of their networks by roaming customers. 

It does not end there. In addition to the (current) 28 EU Member States, this ‘no-roaming charges’ policy will also apply across three European Economic Area Countries; Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, shortly after this date. 

The Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union will be commemorating this achievement during the 2017 Digital Assembly event held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, together with a number of other technological exhibitions from both Malta and other Member States.