European authorities moved to extend rules providing consumers with free roaming services when travelling in the European Union (EU), proposing the programme be extended by a further ten years.
The European Parliament’s Industry Committee today (14 October) voted in favour of maintaining the Roam Like At Home scheme until 2032 and also proposed to abolish surcharges on calls made between EU nations.
Roaming fees were abolished in 2017 for a five-year period ending in mid-2022.
MEP Angelika Winzig branded the original scheme “an unprecedented European success story”, which highlighted how “we all directly benefit from the EU single market”.
The Parliament wants “to cut costs further and improve the quality of service” for consumers in the region, Winzig stated, adding the latest plan aimed to prevent disruption for mobile operators.
In a statement, the Parliament explained the scheme will be discussed at a meeting next week and also requires clearance from the European Council.
Other moves in the latest plan include ensuring consumers enjoy the same quality and speed of mobile connection while travelling, along with free access to emergency services through calls and SMS.
The Parliament explained the European Commission’s analysis of the original roaming mandate showed “market conditions do not yet appear to guarantee that free roaming can continue without regulatory intervention”.
UK operators EE, Vodafone and 3 have all detailed plans to reintroduce roaming charges since the nation’s exit from the EU.