Extra costs of using a mobile phone in countries across the EU are to be scrapped, MEPs have agreed, after years of negotiations.
The ban on data roaming charges from 15 June 2017 has received a final green light in the European Parliament.
Roaming charges are added by mobile operators for calls, texts and internet browsing when phone users are abroad.
An interim cap on charges will take effect from 30 April next year, prior to the full ban across the EU.
That means telecoms operators will be able to add a surcharge of no more than:
- €0.05 (3.5p) extra per minute for calls
- €0.02 extra per SMS sent
- €0.05 extra per megabyte of data used
The cap would make roaming within the EU 75% cheaper during the interim period, the European Commission has said.
Some 665 MEPs voted in favour of the deal. [BBC News]
Thanks to the work of ECR spokesman Vicky Ford, national governments will be able to continue to maintain online parental controls, if brought under national law, giving governments until the end of 2016 to pass legislation enabling national status quos to continue.
Mrs Ford said:
“Ending mobile roaming fees from 2017 will be welcomed by millions of people, as they will be able to use their apps, make calls and send a text just as if they were at home.
“We have also ensured important safeguards to prevent excessive usage, and to make sure that phone operators are not forced to offer roaming services at a loss, meaning that domestic customers do not end up subsidising those customers who travel.
“We have achieved a sensible timescale that gives mobile operators the time to sort out the marketplace in preparation for the abolition of roaming fees.”
[Press release to us]
Personally speaking, I’ve always planned ahead when going on holiday. I used to buy pre-paid SIMs where I was and stuck to mainly WIFI for my data needs. Have any of our readers been stung with a massive bill whilst on holiday? Let us know in the comments below or across the social streams. We’re sure everyone is happy about this news, you’ll be able to keep up-to-date with all our reviews when you’re lounging on the beach in Benidorm.