Travellers within Europe will be able to make calls, text and surf abroad without paying extra charges on top of their usual mobile subscriptions for another ten years.
On Friday, the EU's new Roaming regulation will enter into force, extending the “Roam-like-at-home” scheme until 2032. Before the EU Roaming regulation came into force in 2017, people usually switched off their mobile data when travelling in Europe outside their home country to avoid ending up with a massive roaming bill.
"This is history, and we intend to keep it this way for at least the next 10 years," Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said.
Aside from continuing this principle, the regulation will also result in better mobile internet speed while travelling, it will ensure consumers will have the right to the same quality of mobile internet abroad as they have at home.
Operators with 4G, or the more advanced 5G, networks, should ensure consumers have access to these if they are available in the destination country.
Transparent charges and emergency communications
The new regulation will also improve the transparency of mobile phone costs when consumers travel by plane or boat, during which they are sometimes automatically connected to satellite networks, which can be subject to very high surcharges.
Operators will now be obliged to notify consumers if they are connected to these networks, and will have to automatically interrupt mobile services if the charges reach over €50 or another predefined limit. Consumers should also be given the possibility to opt out of roaming on planes and boats.
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Finally, the new rules also improve access to emergency communications via the the uniform EU emergency number 112, which can be used anywhere in the EU to reach emergency services.
By June 2023, operators should send automatic messages to their customers who travel abroad to inform them about the available alternative means of reaching emergency services, such as through real-time text or apps to avoid the additional costs calling this number abroad entails.