EU Roaming Legislation Clears Final Hurdle

Cheaper roaming prices from 1 July 2009 became a reality today with the formal adoption by EU governments on new EU roaming rules.

The new rules will lead to further reductions of up to 60% on consumers’ roaming bills as of 1 July just in time for this year’s summer holidays. And in particular will make sure that consumers do not pay more than 0.11 Euro (excl. VAT) for sending a text message while travelling in the EU.

Consumers will also be able to surf the web, download movies or send holiday pictures with their mobile without experiencing ‘bill shocks’ back home for having roamed this summer.

In addition, mobile operators must also bill their customers for roaming calls by the second after the first 30 seconds instead of on a per minute basis – which is expected to cut phone bills by as much as 24%.

“Today’s unanimous adoption by the Council of Ministers means that the new roaming rules have passed the very last procedural hurdle and will now bring instant benefits to consumers as of 1 July,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

Mrs Reding added: “This is great news for European citizens who will be able to go on holiday this summer and roam with peace of mind and without the fear of ‘bill shocks’.

To speed up the process and make sure that the new roaming rules enter into force in time for the summer holidays, member state ministers adopted the EU roaming regulation at today’s Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council formation after EU telecommunications ministers gave their informal political support to the Commission’s proposal in November last year.