EC Will Extend Roaming Rules Until 2032
The European Commission proposed extending and improving regulation allowing citizens to roam without incurring additional charges when travelling in the bloc. The current rules expire in 2022 and EC plans to extend them by another ten years.
The EC said the move was important in preparing for the future, at a time when non-essential travel was being discouraged. The proposed regulation covers the period from 2022 to 2032 and will also ensure better roaming services for travellers. The latter aim would be achieved by ensuring consumers are entitled to the same quality and speed of mobile connection at home and abroad, where equivalent networks are available.
In addition, the new rules aim to secure efficient access to emergency services, including improving awareness about alternative means for people with disabilities and increasing consumer awareness on possible fees from using value-added services while roaming. To show its impact so far, the EC cited a new survey showing almost 170 million citizens had enjoyed roaming-free prices since 2017.
It added that in mid-2019, data roaming usage had increased 17-times compared with the same period in 2016, before the abolition of surcharges. With the current rules set to expire on 30 June 2022, the EC believes conditions in the mobile market are still not conducive to sustain roam like at home for all businesses and consumers, therefore it is important to extend them. The regulator added it would ensure the new rules were also sustainable for operators, by looking at reducing wholesale roaming fees.