Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Access to video: Mobile communications: keep on roaming 

When visiting other countries for work or for pleasure, making calls, sending text messages and using data abroad cost the same as at home.  

MEPs want to extend the EU’s “roam like at home” policy to ensure Europeans can continue to call, message and use mobile data anywhere in the EU at no extra cost.

The European Parliament wants to extend the roaming rules to allow consumers to continue to call and transfer data for the same cost as at home when they go to another EU country.

The current legislation was adopted in June 2017 and will expire in June 2022. The planned extension is part of the digital transformation strategy, one of the EU’s priorities.

Roam like at home

Since the introduction of the roam like at home rules, about 170 million people have enjoyed the benefits of staying connected during their travels across Europe while paying the same prices as at home. The system operates across the European Economic Area, which comprises all 27 EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The policy has been very successful, for instance data roaming usage increased 17-fold in the summer of 2019, compared with the summer before the abolition of roaming charges.

Better quality, more services

The new regulation will prolong the current rules for another 10 years. It will also ensure better roaming services for travellers. For example, consumers will be entitled to the same mobile network quality and speed abroad as at home, where equivalent networks are available.

The new rules would also ensure that people can call, text or use an app to reach emergency services free of charge.

Operators would also be required to inform users about increased costs for using value-added services while roaming, such as technical helpdesks, or customer care services by airlines or insurance companies.

Roaming sustainability for operators

The new rules also aim to ensure that the system is sustainable for operators and preserves incentives to invest in networks.

Next steps

Parliament will have to reach an agreement on the new rules with EU countries in the Council, before they can enter into force.

Roaming regulation review 

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