European Parliament finalizes end of EU roaming surcharges | News | DW | 06.04.2017
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European Parliament finalizes end of EU roaming surcharges

A vote by the European Parliament has removed the last hurdle to abolishing roaming surcharges in the EU. As of mid-June, mobile phones will be able to be used at home and abroad for the same cost.

The European Parliament on Thursday endorsed a deal for putting caps on the fees telecoms operators can charge each other for using each other's networks for cross-border calls and data exchanges, thus removing the final obstacle to the full abolition of so-called roaming surcharges.

The "wholesale price caps" covered in the deal ultimately affect the prices paid by consumers, which are already subject to limits.

The permissable surcharges across the EU have already fallen by 90 percent in the past 10 years.

Happy holidays

The vote means that the long-promised abolition of roaming surcharges can take effect as of June 15. From then on, consumers will be able to use their cell phones to make calls, send text messages or surf on the internet across the EU without any additional charges.

The new regulations also prevent misuse, however, by banning nationals of one country from signing a phone contract in another where the charges are much cheaper.

Brussels first promised to introduce free roaming in early 2015.

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