Planned extension of roaming rules is good news for consumers

PRESS RELEASE - 24.02.2021

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) applauds the European Commission’s proposal today to extend current roaming rules beyond June 2022. [1] The roaming rules have been good for consumers with massive increases of data roaming over the last couple of years. [2]

Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, commented:

“These are harsh times for consumers but when this pandemic is over and people start travelling again, they’ll still want to roam like at home. The roaming rules are one of the most widely recognised EU success stories. The European Commission is rightly proposing to continue this consumer-friendly policy beyond June 2022.”

In particular, BEUC welcomes:

  • That the new proposal seeks to ensure telecom operators guarantee the same quality of service – for instance in terms of data speed – for consumers when using their phone in another EU country as at home.
  • That wholesale price caps – the maximum price telecom providers can charge each other when their customers use their phone abroad – will be further reduced. However, we call on legislators to lower them further in order for prices to be closer to real costs. This is particularly important for data. High wholesale caps can affect the price of consumers’ mobile phone subscriptions and squeeze smaller operators out of the market.

Notes:
[1] Since 15 June 2017, Europeans can use their mobile phones for calls, SMS and data when travelling in the EU just as they do at home with no extra cost. The Roaming Regulation which sets this home-like-at-home rule is currently in force until June 2022.
[2] “The EEA average roaming consumption of data services increased by 800 % from Q3 2016 to Q3 2019”, cf. from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications: