EU Outlines Proposals to End Roaming Charges on 1 July

Mobile roaming charges for people travelling within the EU could be banned under plans outlined by the president of the commission, along with a cap on intra-EU call rates.

The Connected Continent legislative package proposes that roaming charges will cease from 1 July next year. Operators could either offer plans with charges that apply across the EU or enable their customers to use a cheaper roaming provider without having to get a new SIM, the report said.

On mobile call charges from one EU country to another, president Jose Manuel Barroso has said that companies cannot charge more for a fixed intra-EU call than they do for a long-distance domestic call. The price could be no more than 16p per minute (plus VAT).

The document reveals further proposals to cut the red tape faced by operators and bring a range of new rights for both consumers and service providers. Plans for customers include ensuring access to plain language contracts, greater ease when swapping providers, the right to a 12-month mobile contract and the right to walk away if the service, including internet speeds promised, is not provided.

The commission has also proposed a single authorisation area for the 28 member states, rather than 28 separate ones, along with more coordinated, cross-border investment in mobile networks to ensure Europeans get more 4G mobile access and wi-fi.