There is good news for all mobile phone users in Europe!!! Finally the European Union (EU) has come to a conclusive decision to rule out mobile phone roaming charges from Europe by 2017. Coming into effect on June 15, 2017, this deal means that while travelling in the 28 EU nations and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, mobile phone users would have to pay the same amount for calls, messages and data as they would pay at home.
The EU officials have been working to phase out roaming charges for quite some time. The EU had proposed nearly two years ago to have a single telecoms market so that the cost of making a call, sending a text message or downloading internet data would be the same as at home. Though in March it was decided that roaming rates would be ditched by 2018, yet it appears that 2017 is a new compromise.
Andreas Ansip, the commission vice president for the digital single market says, ‘We still have a lot of work ahead of us to create a digital single market.’ He added, ‘Our plans to make it happen were fully endorsed by Heads of State and Government last week, and we should move faster than ever on this’.
The Prime Minister of UK, David Cameron says, ‘This deal is fantastic news for British consumers.’ This deal highlights the fact that EU along with the Head of States of the various European nations can work together and deliver real change in Europe, bringing significant benefits for working people.
The concept of ‘net neutrality’ is also being introduced which means that mobile service providers will have to treat all internet traffic equally while providing internet service. Though it has not been strictly implemented, but the rules allow for specialized and innovative services like IPTV, high-definition videoconferencing, healthcare services like telesurgery, and self-driving cars. It has also been said that providers not complying with the rules will face severe sanctions.
Meanwhile, form April 2016, mobile roaming charges will decrease to 0.05 Euros per minute for incoming calls, 0.19 Euros per minute for outgoing calls0.02 Euros for messages and 0.05 Euros per megabyte of data consumed. Though it is impossible to predict the full impact of this deal, yet it is clear that the EU wants a complete revamp of its telecom rules by 2016.
Hopefully this deal brings significant benefits to all mobile users across the EU nations.