For those yachting within the EU ‘bill shock’ should soon be a thing of the past, as 2015 saw the European Commission, European Parliament and Council reach an agreement to end mobile roaming charges as of 15 June 2017.
EU mobile roaming charges were originally set to be abolished from December 2015, which was then delayed until 2018 and once again has been amended.
On 30 April 2016 current retail caps were replaced by a maximum surcharge of €0.05 per minute for calls, €0.02 for SMSs and €0.05 per megabyte for data. ¹
Anrijs Matīss, the Latvian Minister for Transport said; ”This is a great success for the European Union and the Latvian presidency. The Latvian presidency has put a lot of effort into finalising the Telecom Single Market proposal – we revived the proposal from scratch and reached agreement. This would not have been possible without the commitment and constructive approach of the member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission”.²
The first EU-wide internet rules were also announced by the EU Commission, meaning providers will have to treat traffic equally. “Agreements on services requiring a specific level of quality will be allowed, but operators will have to ensure the general quality of internet access services.”³
Mark Pattman, Managing Director, RoamingExpert said ”The end of roaming charges in the EU is great news, however people need to be aware of the ‘fair usage’ policies that providers can put in place. Mobile roaming charges outside of the EU will be significantly higher which if sailing from country to country could still incur high bills”.
Mark continues “Sailing regularly around the EU or even further you may wish to consider a mobile roaming tariff from RoamingExpert. We have built a range of 3 flexible roaming solutions; data only, boat plans and crew tariffs tailored to the needs of the yachting industry”.