European Union Moves Forward With Plans to Eliminate Roaming Charges Next Year

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European Commission members met on Wednesday to discuss draft rules intended to eliminate roaming charges in the European Union as of June 15, 2017.

(Image: TapSmart)

The Commission said it is determined to put an end to roaming charges commonly billed by carriers when a customer calls, sends messages, or uses data on their mobile device while abroad in the European Union, outside of their primary country of residence, subject to proportionate checks for abusive usage.

European regulators have proposed a "Roam like at Home" solution that would allow travelers to call, text, and browse the web on their mobile devices when abroad in the European Union for no extra charge than the price they pay at home. It is not intended to be used for permanent roaming.

"Roam like at Home" is aimed at people who travel in the European Union for work or leisure. "They spend more time at home than they do abroad, and they make most of their calls, texts and use data in their home country," the Commission explained.
Example: with his EUR70 per month contract, Tim living in Netherlands gets unlimited calls, texts and data for his smartphone. When he travels abroad on holidays, he will have unlimited calls and text. For data, he will get twice the equivalent of EUR70 worth of data at the wholesale roaming data price cap, i.e. 0.85 cent/MB according to the Commission wholesale proposal, meaning more than 16 GB in this case. While roaming, he will get twice the volume he has paid for.
The latest draft further clarifies consumer rights, such as ensuring that customers abusing a carrier's roaming policy are not subject to over-intrusive background checks and establishing a minimum alert period of 14 days before roaming charges can be imposed on customers who exceed fair usage.

The revised rules also introduce safeguards to ensure carriers remain competitive. Customers can be asked to prove they live or have "stable links" to a specific country before "Roam like at Home" is included in their contract, while those roaming excessively can be sent a warning message and/or small roaming charge.
If, over a 4-month period, billing data suggests that a consumer has been more abroad than at home, but also consumed more data while travelling in the European Union, the operator can send a warning message. This message will warn the consumers that they have two weeks to inform their operator about their travel situation, or to change their travel or use patterns. Only a very small roaming charge [...] can then be applied.
The proposed surcharges for customers who exceed fair usage are EUR0.04/minute per call, EUR0.01 per SMS, and EUR0.0085 per MB of data usage.

The draft legislation has now been sent to representatives for each European Union member state, who will meet on December 12 to vote on the text. Afterwards, the European Commission will be able to adopt the rules.

EU member states include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

In September, the Commission said the European government agreed to its proposal to end roaming charges in Europe. This week, the Commission said it will be steadfast to ensure an agreement is reached as soon as possible.

Article Link: European Union Moves Forward With Plans to Eliminate Roaming Charges Next Year
 

Derekuda

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2004
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Still don't understand how American carriers do the ass-backwards move of charging for data with unlimited texts, while every other country in the world does practically unlimited data and charges per text. Who's correct?
 
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840quadra

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Feb 1, 2005
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Twin Cities Minnesota
Interesting thing is, EU companies (T-Mobile for instance) are far better at avoiding this than companies here in the US. At least it appears to be that way from what I have read.

We really need this to be a global thing.

Still don't understand how American carriers do the ass-backwards move of charging for data with unlimited texts, while every other country in the world does practically unlimited data and charges per text. Who's correct?
The US is backwards. As Text slowly dies, they stand to make more profit charging prices for data.
 
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adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
1,644
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I can see this working well for EU countries but can fully understand why American carriers still charge insane fees. Although, I travel a lot as a Verizon Wireless customer and have seen a great drop in what they charge me to roam. Most recently:

$5 a day flat rate in Bermuda w/ my data allowance just being what it is normally (4GB a month)
$2 a day in Canada every 24 hours same rules apply.

Back in the day, I'd have to pay $10 for 50 megabytes or something like that. It was ridiculous.
 

2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
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Still don't understand how American carriers do the ass-backwards move of charging for data with unlimited texts, while every other country in the world does practically unlimited data and charges per text. Who's correct?
I'd be in big trouble if I got charged per txt.
 

thering1975

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2014
202
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Im with Three UK and they already do this to certain countries (growing list) i went to Prague in September, and upon arrival got my welcome text and calls, texts and data came out of my allowance which includes totally unlimited data. I was still able to teher my macbook and that came from the allowance as well, so no nasty surprises, all for only £15 a month.
 

foxconn

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Sep 6, 2016
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Still don't understand how American carriers do the ass-backwards move of charging for data with unlimited texts, while every other country in the world does practically unlimited data and charges per text. Who's correct?
Agree.

Before, data was cheap and text/calling rates were high.

Now it's opposite. You get very little data and you gotta pay out of the ass. $85 in Canada for unlimited calling and text with 500mb of data LOL. We had $60 for 6gb with 2-300 minutes but that was fine for me and many others.
 

freddiecable

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2003
632
156
Sweden
This is practically established already in Sweden. Operators generally already have these plans. We have unlimited everything with 50 GB data for our family plan. Three persons pay 70 euro total for this per month
 

big-ted

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2013
200
471
UK
Still don't understand how American carriers do the ass-backwards move of charging for data with unlimited texts, while every other country in the world does practically unlimited data and charges per text. Who's correct?
Certainly don't do that in the UK, free calls and texts and limited data like 2GB a month
[doublepost=1481219555][/doublepost]
Yeah and we can enjoy it while it bloody lasts - UK
The limit on data is disappointing for my two week annual holiday to Ibiza
 

Fradley

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2015
11
10
UK
Im with Three UK and they already do this to certain countries (growing list) i went to Prague in September, and upon arrival got my welcome text and calls, texts and data came out of my allowance which includes totally unlimited data. I was still able to teher my macbook and that came from the allowance as well, so no nasty surprises, all for only £15 a month.
I'm with Three too and have used this (it's great!) - but I thought tethering was excluded...?
 

uncle.zed

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2009
46
23
For Americans who are complaining, we already have this in the US, it's the same as walking between states and using your phone normally...and in some cases with some carriers, that include Canada and Mexico as well.
No it is not the same - USA is one country. European Union 28 different countries, with 24 different languages, 28 different goverments, many different currencies, and so on.
The second last paragraph may be misleading, that EU consist of states. but if You are over 21 and been to school You should know that it is countries.
 

puffnit

macrumors newbie
Dec 15, 2011
11
1
Agree.

Before, data was cheap and text/calling rates were high.

Now it's opposite. You get very little data and you gotta pay out of the ass. $85 in Canada for unlimited calling and text with 500mb of data LOL. We had $60 for 6gb with 2-300 minutes but that was fine for me and many others.
In Poland I have unlimited voice, text and 10GB of internet for 6$ per month. Without contract (pre-paid). LTE+ speeds (100 - 170Mbps in my location).
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,245
1,312
For Americans who are complaining, we already have this in the US, it's the same as walking between states and using your phone normally...
Except in the US, you get to use all of your data when "roaming" around the country.

In the EU, with this new roaming plan, sounds like if you have a cheap domestic plan, then when you roam, you get "twice the volume of data equivalent to the value of your monthly contract in wholes roaming data price caps".

That's pretty clear, right?

So the example they give is of a Tim, who lives in the Netherlands, and has an unlimited everything plan for €70. When he roams, his data goes from unlimited to 16 GB/month.

Not saying that's a bad deal. It's just different from how the US carriers handle the plans as people travel across the country.
 

rshrugged

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2015
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For Americans who are complaining, we already have this in the US, it's the same as walking between states and using your phone normally...and in some cases with some carriers, that include Canada and Mexico as well.
To the best of my knowledge, there's no US government mandate regarding roaming charges. Private arrangements are a different matter.
 

ksnell

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
663
1,060
Texas
EU member states include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Lol UK. Not for long!

EDIT: In all seriousness - is meddling in private business like this really a good idea?

I know, I know, I am a big, dumb, free market, capitalist American.
 
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aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,245
1,312
No it is not the same - USA is one country. European Union 28 different countries, with 24 different languages, 28 different goverments, many different currencies, and so on.
The second last paragraph may be misleading, that EU consist of states. but if You are over 21 and been to school You should know that it is countries.
I think he was referring to it being the functional equivalent, in terms of how cell phone plans work.
 

NoNothing

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2003
442
466
When can we, here in the States, join the European Union? Great Britain just quit so that means there is an empty seat at the table waiting to be filled.
Won't happen. Ever. At best one in 20 people would think this is even a good idea.
For the most part, the EU is in the midst of collapsing. What started out as a good idea with a common currency and common market with free travel and exchange of goods, products and services has turned into an over-regulated nightmare with the EC making up rules and regulations as they go. Brexit was just first step in its collapse. Italeave will be next and the dominoes will all fall.