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Statement by Vice President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger on end to #roamingcharges in EU

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tech_roaming47__01__630x420Following the publication of draft measures related to the end of roaming charges for European travellers as of 15 June 2017, Vice President Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, said: "Getting rid of roaming charges is one of the best achievements of the European Union in the last few years, and a cornerstone for building the Digital Single Market.

"For more than a decade, the Commission has been working to reduce the huge surcharges that telecoms operators imposed on their customers each time they crossed a border while using their mobile device on holiday, at the week-end or during business trips. We are now at the final hurdle: the complete abolition of roaming charges for European travellers in the EU. This will enter into effect as of 15 June 2017. Those of us who travel do so on average for 12 days per year.

"But the Commission goes much further by abolishing roaming charges for at least 90 days per year, much more than the average time that a European is roaming with their phone. So in practice these charges will disappear for the vast majority of us. 99% of European travellers are covered. In any event, 90 days is the strict minimum. Mobile phone companies can always offer more or even choose not to apply limits at all. Some have already done so, and we strongly encourage this.

"Without a few safeguards to avoid abuses - safeguards that the European Parliament and Council have asked the Commission to specify - network quality and investments in new capacity in some countries may suffer as people could opt for different territorial operators, and the domestic mobile prices might go up as operators would try to compensate losses. Those who travel to and from work, crossing borders every day, are not concerned by the minimum of 90 days (…) Finally, Europeans will be able to spend their holidays in peace, without the worry of big phone bills when they come home."

The full statement can be found here.

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