Europe approves rules to end roaming charges
Members of the European parliament have voted through rules to scrap data roaming charges across the region.
The law to ban roaming fees for calling, sending text messages and using mobile internet within the EU was given the final approval in a vote in parliament.
The ban will be implemented from June 15 2017 following over two years of negotiations within the European parliament.
"This is the culmination of hard work by the Commission, and in particular by former vice-presidents Viviane Reding and Neelie Kroes, to tackle high roaming charges,” said Andrus Ansip, commission vice president for the Digital Single Market. "This is not only about money; this is about bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market. Today's achievement is a first step towards a Telecoms Single Market. More work will need to be done to overcome national silos and address challenges such as spectrum coordination."
An interim cap on fees will take effect from April 2016, prior to the complete roll-out across the region. There will be a cap of €0.05 per minute for voice calls, €0.02 per text message and €0.05/Mb of mobile internet use.
Gunther Oettinger, commissioner in charge of the Digital Economy and Society said: “These rules protect the right of every European to access the content of their choice, without interference or discrimination. They will avoid fragmentation in the single market, creating legal certainty for businesses and making it easier for them to work across border."