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EU Abolishes Mobile Phone Roaming Charges, Reduces Fees on Services | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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european commission

Brussels- As announced by President Juncker in his State of the Union Address, Members of the College discussed, during their weekly meeting on Wednesday, a revised draft of the rules needed to avoid abuses of the end of roaming charges in time for June 2017.

The College discussed a new approach to the fair use principle and agreed that there should be no limits in terms of timing or volume imposed on consumers when using their mobile devices abroad in the EU.

At the same time, the new approach provides a solid safeguard mechanism for operators against potential abuses.

European Commission Vice-President for the digital single market, Andrus Ansip told a news conference on Wednesday that there would no longer be a formal limit when new rules enter force in June 2017.

He said: “Parliament and Council agreed on our proposal to end roaming charges for travelers in the EU. Together we need to ensure low prices for users all across Europe, to make full use of new mobile services. European consumers would not accept it otherwise.”

“Today’s draft rules ensure we can end roaming charges as of June 2017 for all people who travel periodically in the EU, while ensuring that operators have the tools to guard against abuse of the rules,” said Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.

The College of Commissioners will adopt the final proposal by 15 December 2016, following feedback from BEREC (Body of European Regulators in Electronic Communications), Member States and all interested parties.

On mid-June 2015 the European Commission (EC) adopted a proposal to set caps on regulated wholesale roaming charges in order to prepare the ground for the abolition of retail roaming charges from Jun. 15, 2017.

Back then, Oettinger said the EC is now counting on the European Parliament and European Council “to keep the pace and adopt the proposal swiftly.”

The EC said national wholesale roaming markets must be competitive if the abolition of retail roaming charges is to be sustainable throughout the EU, enabling operators to offer retail roaming services without any charges in addition to the domestic price.

“We want to make sure that the end of roaming charges works properly for consumers and market players,” added Oettinger.