EU says mobile roaming fees to remain until 2018
A document from the European Union has stated that mobile operators should be allowed to levy roaming charges until 2018, challenging proposals from European lawmakers to scrap the fees by the end of the year.
Last year the European Parliament voted to end roaming fees by the end of 2015, and despite expecting delays, the suggestion of a three year delay is likely to come up against opposition from some.
Ending roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad has been a priority for the European Commission, and part of the reform backed by the enigmatic Neelie Kroes who left her position in October 2014.
According to Reuters the document says telcos will offer a “basic roaming allowance”; meaning customers can browse the internet and make calls abroad at domestic rates and with a limited allowance.
This allowance has not been specified, but the document says that its aim “should not be to replicate domestic consumption pattern or avoid abnormal usage”.
Abolishing retail roaming charges is complicated by the wholesale charges operators pay each other when their customers travel abroad, and the 28 EU countries will discuss the proposal next week.
The Commission is also to review the EU’s wholesale market and if necessary, make legislative proposals to amend it by mid-2018.