Europe to Eliminate Roaming Charges for Voice and Data
Members of the European Parliament passed legislation that puts an end to mobile roaming fees by 2017.
As part of what the European Union has been referring to as its “Connected Continent” plan, starting in June 2017, smartphone users will pay the same rates for voice, text messages, and data, regardless of which country they are in. The move effectively turns most of Europe into a single zone with no voice or data roaming charges.
Travelers to Europe who purchase a SIM card in one of the European Union’s 28 countries will be able to use it without any roaming fees as they cross EU borders.
The move comes roughly two years after the European Commission announced plans for a “single telecoms market” by the end of 2015. Roaming costs were reduced in July 2014 and will again be lowered at the end of April 2016 before disappearing entirely 14 months later.
The new law was incorporated in a larger legislative package that seeks to strengthen net neutrality within the European Union although some observers believe that it failed to close major loopholes that could ultimately still allow for classes of service known as “fast lanes.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)