Free roaming of mobile phone services has been extended across the European Union by another ten years, the Council of the European Union announced on Monday.
The move ensures that the current regulation on roaming charges, which had been due to expire on June 30, will remain valid until June 2032. The relevant regulation will enter into force on July 1.
The EU abolished roaming charges in June 2017, and Europeans have since been able to use their mobile subscriptions to make calls, send SMS and roam the Internet on the same terms as in their own country at no extra cost, but only for three consecutive months. After three months, service providers may hit users with roaming tariffs.
According to the regulation, consumers will be able to access a mobile internet connection abroad at the same quality and speed as at home, provided the technical conditions are in place in the mobile network of the destination country. In addition, the regulation provides effective access to emergency services and helps consumers to be aware of the additional costs of value-added roaming services.
According to the European Commission, at least half of Europeans with a mobile phone have traveled abroad in the last four years, with mobile roaming usage increasing by about 17 times compared to the relevant data for the summer before the abolition of roaming charges in 2017.