As of 15 May, a new maximum price will apply for all international calls and SMS within the EU. Consumers calling from their country to another EU country will pay a maximum amount of 19 cents per minute (+VAT) and 6 cents per SMS message (+VAT).
Following the end of roaming charges in June 2017, these new price caps for international calls and SMS in the EU are part of an overhaul of telecom rules. EU Commissioners described the price caps as a concrete achievement of the Digital Single Market in meeting the growing connectivity needs of Europeans.
The new rules for international calls tackle large price discrepancies that previously existed between Member States. On average, the standard price of a fixed or mobile intra-EU call was three times higher than the standard price of a domestic call, and the standard price of an intra-EU SMS message more than twice as expensive as a domestic one.
A new Eurobarometer survey on international calls shows that four in ten respondents (42%) have contacted someone in another EU country in the past month. 26% of the respondents said they used a landline, mobile phone, or SMS to reach someone in another EU country.
Telecoms operators across the EU will have to notify the consumers of the new price caps. The rules will apply in all 28 EU countries as of 15 May and soon also in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The maximum price is capped only for personal usage, i.e. for private customers. Business customers are excluded from this price regulation, given that several providers have special offers particularly attractive for business customers.