Mobile phone roaming charges in Europe will end in 2017

The final green light from the European Parliament will mean that from 15 June 2017, data roaming charges in Europe will be abolished, following years of negotiations.

Until this full ban on roaming charges is introduced, an interim cap will be brought in from 30 April 2016, restricting the charges mobile phone users face, making it 75 per cent cheaper to roam.

This interim cap will mean that calls are limited to €0.05 extra per minute, €0.02 extra per SMS sent, and €0.05 extra per megabyte of data when abroad.

Since mobile operators added roaming charges to calls, texts and internet use abroad, many people have been left with bills for hundreds of pounds as they download data and videos whilst on holiday in Europe without realising the impact it can have on their bills.

To stop these controversial charges, mobile phone users will be charged the same they would be in their home country, as of June 2017.

“After ten years of tireless [fighting], roaming is over. A victory for consumers and a stepping stone towards a truly European digital single market,” said Viviane Reding, former vice-president of the European Commission.

However, there are critics of the new plan, who argue that the announcement could mean higher prices from mobile phone companies, who will look to recuperate the loss of revenue. 665 MEPs voted for the new deal.

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