EU gives go-ahead for scrapping 4G roaming fees

EU gives go-ahead for scrapping 4G roaming fees

Roaming charges for 4G services are to be phased out by June 2017 under new measures passed on Tuesday (October 27th) by the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The move will also see the establishment of net neutrality laws for the first time, with further cuts on roaming fees set to take hold at the end of April 2016 before they are phased out completely.

The measures come as part of an ambitious overhaul of telecoms rules across the EU, which will also include a more effective EU-level spectrum coordination.

The overall aim of the revamp is to create the conditions needed for digital networks and services to flourish, in line with the Commission's plan for a Digital Single Market presented in May 2015.

Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, said: "The voice of Europeans has been heard. Today's vote is the final result of intense efforts to put an end to roaming charges in the European Union and to safeguard the open internet.

"As from mid-June 2017, Europeans will pay the same price to use their mobile devices when travelling in the EU as they do at home. And they will already pay less as from April 2016.

He added the move was not just about money and was more about "bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market."

However, he warned that more work was needed in order to overcome national silos and challenges, including spectrum coordination, but claimed the EU would go  further as early as next year with an ambitious overhaul of EU telecoms rules.