Telecoms: «Roam like at home is working» say Commissioners Ansip and Gabriel
One year ago, on 15 June 2017, roaming charges in the European Union were eliminated, allowing citizens who travel within the EU to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home. But, 12 months later, do European citizens really see any benefits of it?
One year ago, on 15 June 2017, roaming charges in the European Union were eliminated, allowing citizens who travel within the EU to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home. Removing roaming charges was said to be one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU. But, 12 months later, do European citizens see any benefits of this 10-year battle for MEP Viviane Reding who revealed last year that «at first, everyone was against it, but not the Parliament. Parliament always supported the consumers, the citizens. But the European Council was against it 100%. We had to convince member states to work not only in the interest of businesses, but also in the interest of citizens»?
. «Yes!» answers an new Eurobarometer survey on roaming showing that 82% of people who have travelled to another EU country in the last year say they have benefitted from the new rules. Moreover, 62% of Europeans are aware that roaming charges have ended and 69% think that they, or someone they know, will benefit. Especially young people recognise a clear benefit of the new rules, with 80% of those aged 15-24 seeing the advantages.
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said in a joint statement: “This is an example of an EU that concretely improves the life of European citizens. Roam like at home is working and is becoming a habit: customers are appreciating it, consumption is up and the demand for mobile services while travelling in the EU is very high. It benefits consumers and operators alike.”
Further findings of the survey show that many travellers have started changing their mobile phone use. Respondents are less likely to restrict their mobile use while travelling (e.g. by switching off the phone or data roaming). The share of travellers who used their mobile data while roaming as often as at home has increased to 34% from 26% in 2017. The first year without roaming charges shows that in general mobile operators comply with the new rules well.
Video: EP audiovisual service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro / © European Union , 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service
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