The European Commission has delivered the news we've all been waiting for, roaming charges throughout the EU will come to an end on 15 June 2017. The European Commission, Council and Parliament have come up with a set of standardised wholesale prices that operators will charge each other when customers use the various mobile networks. You as a customer will be able to use your same tariff abroad without being charge any extra.
- Free phone use abroad at last, roaming charges officially scrapped
- Best roaming plans: Which is the cheapest network for EU and abroad?
Prices will be capped at 3.2 cents per voice minute, 1 cent per SMS message and €7.7 per GB of data, but this will decrease year on year: €6 per GB as of 1 January 2018, €4.5 as of 1 January 2019, €3.5 as of 1 January 2020, €3 as of 1 January 2021 and €2.5 as of 1 January 2022.
Mr Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market said: "...when travelling in the EU, consumers will be able to call, send SMS or surf on their mobile at the same price they pay at home. The agreement makes "roam-like-at-home" sustainable for people and businesses, while ensuring cost recovery and keeping national wholesale roaming markets competitive."
Of course, the reality of no roaming charges only applies to countries and customers that are part of the EU. In a couple of years, that won't include the UK. Until the UK officially leaves the EU, the mobile networks will most likely do what the EU says, but once we leave, it's not clear what they'll do. It's possible the different networks could offer roaming package deals to keep prices as low as possible, but even then the UK networks will be able to charge pretty much whatever they like.