Mobile phone “roaming” will continue to be free within the European Union for at least another decade, says a press release from the European Commission.
The EC said that a political agreement had been reached between the member states and the European Parliament to extend the practice until 2032.
Citizens will be able to call, text and use mobile data while travelling within the EU at no extra costs and with the same quality they experience at home; they will have improved access to emergency communications regardless of where they are in Europe; and, they will have the right to clear information when a service they use while roaming might cause inadvertent extra charges. The regulation will enter into force on July 1st 2022.
Until roaming charges were abolished in the EU in 2017, personal and business travelers in Europe would be hit by excessive phone bills when they got home, being slammed by network operators charging excessively-high fees for calls, text, and data used while they were abroad.
Now, mobile customers generally no longer have to worry about excessive roaming-related charges when using their phone in the EU, with most carriers counting calls, texts, and data used in EU countries as equivalent to domestic use.
UK residents will not enjoy the benefits of free roaming when using their phones in other countries, as the United Kingdom has formally exited the European Union.
Originally, UK-based cellular providers EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone, stated they had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges after Brexit, but all have since announced changes, some under a “fair use” clause.