Wednesday

10th Aug 2022

Mobile roaming charges to drop in July

  • Kroes vowed to complete a single telecom market in less than two years (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

Mobile roaming charges will drop across Europe on 1 July, the European Commission announced on Tuesday (25 June).

“As of the first of July, prices across the EU will fall in seven categories for retail and wholesale charges that deal with mobile roaming,” European Commission spokesman Ryan Heath told reporters in Brussels.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The price for sending an SMS, making telephone calls, and browsing or downloading data from the Internet on a mobile phone will all drop in the hosting member state.

The retail prices, excluding VAT, as of 1 July will be:

Twenty-four cents per minute to place a telephone call, 7 cents per minute when receiving a call and 8 cents to send an SMS.

Downloading data or browsing the Internet will cost 45 cents plus VAT per megabyte, which is a 36 percent price drop when compared to last year.

The price cuts also affect Croatia, which is set to join the EU as the 28th member state on 1 July.

People traveling to Croatia “will enjoy roaming up to 15 times cheaper than they do today,” said Heath.

The cuts are put of a larger plan by digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes to eradicate roaming charges throughout the bloc.

The commission is expected to put forward a single telecom package proposal with provisions to get rid of roaming for good.

Kroes told MEPs in late May that a final package will be tabled by Easter next year.

"I want you to go back to your constituents and say you were able to able to end mobile roaming charges," she said.

When the legislation with a possible no-roaming charge provision will be implemented remains undecided.

Meanwhile, a further round of roaming cuts are expected in July 2014.

The price drops are expected to hit the revenue streams of the some 100 different operators in Europe.

Industry analysts say the European telecom sector is fragmented and that companies are struggling with rising costs.

But the commission says lower prices have increased the roaming market size by 680 percent. It notes companies will need to move to business models where they have more sustainable sources of income.

A report published in April by the Brussels-based European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (Etno), which represents 37 companies, says the industry is slowly losing money despite the increase demand for its services.

The report notes a lack of proper investment in infrastructure and a fragmented market put the EU companies at a disadvantage when compared to the US and Asia.

The EU sector generates some €282 billion but is expected to contract by €50 billion before the end of the decade if nothing is done, says Etno.

“The biggest cause for this potential contraction is that the decline in voice revenues is far from offset by growth in broadband access charges,” states the report.

Almost two-thirds of Europe in danger of drought

Data released by the European Drought Observatory show 60 percent of Europe and the United Kingdom is currently in a state of drought, with farming, homes and industry being affected. Drought conditions have also led to an increase in wildfires.

Droughts prompt calls to cut water use amid harvest fears

With the prolonged lack of rain and high temperatures, fears have emerged over water shortages and droughts decreasing crop yields — prompting calls to use less water and reuse urban wastewater for agricultural irrigation.

EU 'must tax pesticides' to cut use, expert warns

The European Commission put forward a new proposal to reduce pesticides in mid-June. But experts warn that it is based on weak rules, and that European agriculture is stuck in a "permanent pesticide-dependence."

Brazil pitches itself as answer to Ukraine war food shortages

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

Brazil pitches itself as answer to Ukraine war food shortages

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

Opinion

Exploiting the Ukraine crisis for Big Business

From food policy to climate change, corporate lobbyists are exploiting the Ukraine crisis to try to slash legislation that gets in the way of profit. But this is only making things worse.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us