As of now, the maximum rates that travellers need to pay while roaming in Europe are €0.05 per minute of calling, €0.02 per text and €0.05 per MB of internet data consumed. These rates came into effect in May of last year, replacing previous rates which were €0.19 and €0.05 per minute of outgoing and incoming calls, €0.06 per text and €0.20 per MB of internet data consumed. From June of this year, travellers will need to pay just £6.60 per GB of data consumed in the EU region.
EU roaming charges slashed by 75%; what it means for you?
The process of abolishing roaming charges in the EU region completely started a few years ago and is being conducted in a phased manner. Back in 2012, operators could charge up to 70p for every MB of data consumed, resulting in travellers worrying about bill shock everytime they travelled to any of the 28 member states. The rate was brought down to 45p per MB in 2014 and then to just 16p per MB consumed in 2015.
In October of 2015, the EU Parliament finally approved the rule abolish roaming charges completely from June 2017. With the ruling, the EU Parliament has also paved a way for 'net neutrality' which will allow governments to maintain parental control and also to bring in their own legislations by the end of next year.
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As of now, all that is left is for network operators to work out a deal to use each others' networks for roaming services. The resulting deal has been provisionally approved by the European Parliament and will need to be confirmed by the full European Parliament and EU member states for roaming charges to be abolished.
"This decision is the final step in a process that started 10 years ago. From next summer, wherever they are travelling in Europe, citizens will be able to make calls, send texts, surf and stay connected. Roam like at home is now a reality," said Dr Emmanuel Mallia, the Maltese Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy to the BBC.