The European Council proposed to more than double the maximum wholesale price operators can charge for roaming data during a meeting today.
Earlier this week, MEPs proposed a limit on fees operators could charge each other for wholesale roaming data of €4 per GB in 2017, with the cost eventually falling to €1 per GB. However, during the session, the council upped these figures to €10 per GB by mid-2017 and €5 per GB by 2021.
Costs for text messages were agreed at the European Parliament’s level of €0.01. The Council recommended a slight increase in the voice cap, from the proposed €0.03 to €0.035.
Prior to the meeting, Finnish representative Anne Berner had outlined her intent to lower the caps, citing the risk of increased consumer prices at MEPs’ recommended levels.
Chair of the Council meeting and Slovak Minister for Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Arpád Érsek, emphasised the council’s broad agreement with the reduction in wholesale prices to achieve the goal of lowering consumer costs.
She said: “Abolition of roaming charges is in the eyes of many the most concrete achievement of the Union. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we meet our citizens’ expectations. I welcome today´s swift decision by the Council to agree on wholesale roaming caps to enable negotiations with the European Parliament and make roam-like-at-home reality as of next year.”
The recommendations will now go back to MEPs for further debate.