The European Parliament reached an agreement with European Union (EU) member states to extend regulation allowing citizens to roam without incurring additional charges when travelling in the bloc by a further ten years, along with introducing further advantages for consumers.
In a statement, the European Commission (EC) welcomed the decision to extend current roaming rules to 2032. The Commission first proposed the extra time in February, with the Parliament voting in favour in October.
The existing set of rules were introduced in 2017 and abolished consumer surcharges for using mobile data, calls and SMS across EU countries. The original term expires in July 2022.
In addition to the extension, the EC explained those travelling across the EU will have improved access to communications regardless of their location, and greater information around unexpected charges.
Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said travelling in Europe without having to worry about phone bills “is a tangible part of the EU single market experience for all Europeans”.
“Today we are not only ensuring that this experience continues, but we are upgrading it. Better quality, better services, even more transparency.”
The EC added the updated rules lower wholesale charges to ensure operators can “sustain and recover the cost of providing roaming services to consumers at domestic prices”.
Going forward, the EC noted it was also looking to evaluate measures on calls and SMS rates from a home country to another member state, and if there was a need for caps to protect consumers.