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Roaming charges are (finally) set to be scrapped from June 2017

No more expensive calls home thanks to a landmark EU ruling

Roaming charges are set to be axed in June 2017
Roaming charges are set to be axed in June 2017
Image: Shutterstock/nenetus

IRISH PHONE CUSTOMERS will soon have their roaming charges scrapped when travelling abroad thanks to new EU legislation.

The landmark move  will see the end of all roaming charges from 15 June 2017 with reduced rates effective from next year.

As of 30 April 2016, additional roaming charges will be capped at 5c per minute for outgoing calls, 2c for texts, and 5c for every megabyte of data. A cap for incoming calls will be determined at a later date.

Plans to scrap the controversial charges come as part of an EU-wide single telecoms package designed to unify mobile phone use in Europe.

Speaking about the move, EU Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip said:

As from mid-June 2017, Europeans will pay the same price to use their mobile devices when travelling in the EU as they do at home. And they will already pay less as from April 2016.This is not only about money; this is about bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market. Today’s achievement is a first step towards a Telecoms Single Market.

However, some say that the latest plans don’t go far enough to end the financial headache faced by Irish phone users abroad.

German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda issued a statement criticising today’s legislation.

“The plan to place an end to roaming surcharges in Europe has been adopted pending a review of pricing and consumption patterns.

“Even if the review is completed by the 15 June 2017 deadline, roaming surcharges will only be suspended up to a ‘fair use’ limit beyond which they still apply and continue to hinder the breaking down of barriers within Europe.”

What’s on the EU’s digital agenda? Free roaming, 4G and a better internet for kids>

Vodafone to pay €400,000 penalty over roaming charges>

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