MEPs Vote to Abolish Roaming Fees within EU

Business | April 3, 2014, Thursday // 16:29
Bulgaria: MEPs Vote to Abolish Roaming Fees within EU File photo

European Parliament voted Thursday to scrap mobile roaming fees charged while using a phone abroad.

After MEPs approved the measure with an overwhelming majority (534 to 25 votes), making a call or using the Internet in another EU country will cost as much as it does at home.

Scrapping of roaming fees comes into force on December 15, 2015.

The proposal will now have to be approved by Europe's national governments.

If approved, it will also ensure that all online traffic is equally charged across the EU.

Over the past years the lack of progress on the idea of a "telecoms reform" has hindered the abolishing of roaming within the European Union.

Data by the European Commission reveals that 94% of the Europeans limit their use of the web when travelling to other EU countries, the BBC reports.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes was quoted by Deutsche Welle as saying that the existing roaming fee practice is "a cash cow for the industry".

Estimates suggest that the fragmentation of the telecoms sector (including the lack of common rules) costs Europe EUR 110 B a year, which is roughly 0.9% of its gross domestic product.

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Tags: EU, EP, MEPs, Neelie Kroes, roaming, telecoms
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