Phone call

The European Union’s ‘roam like at home’ scheme is set to be extended until 2032, under a provisional agreement reached this week between negotiators from the European Council and the European Parliament.

The initiative was first introduced in 2017, and was set to expire in 2022.

The updated roaming rules will ensure that people can continue to make calls, text and browse the web while travelling in other EU countries, without the fear of a shock when they get their bill.

The revised roaming regulation adjusts the maximum wholesale prices to ensure that the provision of retail roaming services at domestic prices is sustainable for operators throughout the EU.

It increases transparency for services that may be subject to extra cost, and will also protect customers from bill shocks resulting from inadvertent roaming on non-terrestrial mobile networks when on ferries or aeroplanes.

Additionally, the ‘fair use policy’ of the scheme, which is designed to prevent permanent roaming, is set to continue. The European Commission may suggest changes to it after a thorough analysis of the market and a due assessment of the potential impact.

The revised regulation includes measures to ensure a good customer experience in terms of quality of service and access to emergency services, including for people with special needs.

The Slovenian President of the Council, Boštjan Koritnik, welcomed the achievement, saying: “The ‘roam like at home’ policy has made communication easier and cheaper whenever people are travelling in Europe, so no wonder it is one of the greatest success stories of the digital single market.

“I am very happy that the Slovenian presidency has reached a political agreement with the European Parliament in time so that both consumers and businesses can continue to enjoy this tangible benefit, which also supports one of our most fundamental values, namely the free movement of people within the EU.”

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