EU is on the verge of removing roaming charges for good
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The European Parliament is in the process of confirming a deal that will end European Union roaming charges for people using mobile phones abroad. If the deal goes through (which seems highly likely), the wholesale charges that telecoms operators pay each other will be capped, finalizing a long, drawn-out effort to end roaming fees that consumers have been eagerly awaiting for some time.
According to Maltese Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Dr. Emmanuel Mallia, this decision is the final step in a process that has lasted about a decade. “From next summer, wherever they are traveling in Europe, citizens will be able to make calls, send texts, surf and stay connected,” Mallia said.
As of now, consumers pay roaming charges when they connect to overseas operators, and these charges are added onto the cost of the call itself, often resulting in considerably higher costs. With the new caps in place, operators can now offer customers roaming free of charge without adversely affecting prices.
The wholesale charge for data will decrease from the current 50 euros ($53.91) per gigabyte to 7.7 euros ($8.30) per gigabyte on June 15. This number will continue to decrease over time by about a euro a year until it reaches 3 euro per gigabyte between 2021 and 2022.