Schengen Visa News

Commission Welcomes Extension of Free Roaming Rules for EU Citizens Traveling Within the Bloc

The European Commission has welcomed the political agreement reached by the EU Parliament and Member States on the new roaming regulation.

The new regulation, which is due to come into effect on July 1, 2022, will extend the current system until 2032, meaning that citizens cannot be subject to additional fees when making calls or using data while traveling within the European Union.

Since 2017, we have enjoyed the end of roaming charges. Today, we’ve made sure we can keep those benefits for another ten years to stay connected, connect, text and surf the web at no extra cost, when we travel in the European Union,” Europe Fit for the Digital Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said.

In line with the new rules, EU citizens will be able to make calls, send texts and use mobile data at no additional cost and at the same quality they experience at home. Consumers with 5G services at home will also be able to take advantage of this service wherever it is available, TheSchengen.com reports.

In the event that the quality of the roaming experience is affected by specific factors, operators will be required to inform their customers as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience.

Moreover, the new regulation will prevent unexpectedly high fees. Since consumers often face additional costs when calling from abroad, new rules now require all operators to adequately inform their customers of additional charges. This way, everyone can make informed decisions about using these services.

The regulation also guarantees better information and automatic interruption if the billing cost reaches €50 or some other pre-determined limit when the customer’s phone is connected to non-terrestrial networks.

“Spending holidays in Greece, Austria or Bulgaria. Visiting customers or suppliers in Italy or Estonia… Traveling abroad without having to worry about phone bills is a tangible part of the EU single market experience for all Europeans,” said the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton. Today, we not only guarantee the continuation of this experience, but we are working to develop it: better quality, better services and greater transparency.

Bearing in mind that emergency communications are essential to saving lives, the new regulation provides citizens with improved access to emergency communications, including free caller locating. The operators will ensure that all EU citizens are informed of access to emergency services through “112” and provide other alternative means of access.

By June 2023, all operators will be required to automatically inform their customers via text message about available alternative means of accessing emergency services.

In addition to all of the above rules, the regulation also sets lower wholesale fees.

The new regulation defines the following sentence limits for data services:

€2/GB in 2022, €1.8/GB in 2023, €1.55/GB in 2024, €1.3/GB in 2025, €1.1/GB in 2026, and €1/GB from 2027 onwards For calls: 0.022€/min in 2022-2024 and 0.019€/min from 2025 onwards SMS: 0.004€/min in 2022-2024 and 0.003€/min from 2025 onwards

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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