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 UK Prime Minister, 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.
Roam like Home
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, the rules allow for specialized and innovative services like IPTV, high-definition video conferencing, 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, from 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.