Europeans that travel through the 28-member block of the European Union can now use mobile device for less costs, thanks to policy makers eliminating mobile device roaming charges throughout the region.
Through a joint statement this week from the European Commission, Parliament and Council the move has been called a positive, concrete result for European consumers.
However, limits do exist, including a policy for fair use that avoids abuse by the permanent roamers; and fees will still be possible, but capped, for plans that are very inexpensive.
Unlimited data is not necessarily to be carried over when the subscriber is using their mobile device in another country in the EU.
However, for average users of mobile devices traveling through the EU there should not be any more to pay than the normal rate they pay if they remained at home.
European carriers should not look to increase their domestic tariffs just because the roaming fees will be ending, although that could take place moving forward.
Abolishing the roaming fees, which before were very expensive and were not an incentive for the consumer to use digital services during their travels through the region for pleasure or work, has been a project the European Commission has worked on for over a decade and part of a much broader initiative known as the Digital Single Market to increase competitiveness and to lower barriers for conducting digital business with the region.
The final hurdle to the elimination of the roaming fees was passed last April when the three institutions in European reached an agreement on price caps at the wholesale level that limit what the operators are allowed to charge one another for carrying the roamers’ traffic on their own networks.
A joint statement made by the three institutions in Europe said that they were proud that the EU ended the very high prices for roaming and thankful for everyone who had showed determination in overcoming many obstacles and challenges to reach this final goal.
For citizens of the UK there is still a question that remains due to Brexit, the vote the country had in June of 2016 to leave the EU. Fees might return for roaming for UK users when the exit from the bloc takes place in less than two years.
Whether the fees for roaming return for British users is unknown at the moment but mobile users in the UK can for now have free roaming calls thanks to the new initiative.