The European Commission (EC) revealed 38 operators had agreed to voluntarily reduce charges for those roaming between EU member states and the Western Balkans region, with new price caps in place from October and further cuts in the pipeline.

Its update follows a declaration signed by several major players at a summit in December 2022 outlining an ambition to reduce the charges. Original signatories included Orange, Deutsche Telekom and A1 Telekom Austria.

As of 1 October, caps of €18 per GB will be in place for customers of participating operators from within the EU and Western Balkans. This will fall to €14 in 2026 and €9 from 2028. Caps apply to users roaming within either region.

The sliding fees bring users in the Western Balkans closer to data roaming policies already available to citizens of EU countries roaming in other member states.

“This price capping encourages and simplifies business, cultural, tourism and other exchanges between the EU and the Western Balkans, strengthening the links between neighbouring regions,” the EC noted in a statement.

“The operators are currently working on creating products with prices below the agreed price caps, which will be available for purchase to the broadest possible number of consumers,” it added.

Territories classed under Western Balkans in EU documents are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

In 2019 the nations signed an agreement pledging to abolish regional surcharges between themselves.