Spontaneous application

End of ‘Roaming Charges’ moves EU to better European communication!

Primexis Insights
1 August 2017
people talking

On 15 June 2017, the European Parliament’s policy of abolishing telephone-roaming charges went into effect across the EU. It follows the adoption by European parliamentarians of the European regulation n° 2016/2286 on 15 December 2016 establishing rules on roaming charges and how information is transmitted. 

After 10 years of negotiations involving various EU institutions, this regulation significantly reduces roaming costs, when making a phone call, sending a SMS and using an Internet connection, via mobile phones, when outside of national networks. National telephone operators previously applied extra charges to businesses and consumers for this intra-European Union communication.

Companies and persons most affected:
Those who occasionally travel for business outside the country where they reside and/or have ongoing ties outside their countries: European executives, employees and consumers.

Implementation: The EU Regulation is effective in all EU Member States as of 15 June 2017.


    • Roaming while aboard boats and planes are covered if the user is connected to a land mobile network. If not, and the services are provided by a satellite system, the EU regulation no longer applies;
    • Telephone calls (mobile and / or fixed) from one EU state to another are not considered to be roaming: the EU regulation does not apply;
    • Roaming calls outside the EU are not included in this regulation.

Main Limitations (1):

  • Telephone operators may apply a “Reasonable Use Policy” through fair, reasonable and proportionate control mechanisms while respecting the privacy rules;
  • The use of the data, depending on the type of contract initially signed: unlimited or limited volume may be subject to additional costs. It will be calculated according to the wholesale data cap i.e. 7.70 € / GB of data excluding VAT in 2017 (6 € / GB in 2018). These charges will be applied only after the operator has informed the user that he has reached the limit of his subscription. If the volume is unlimited, the expected volume is twice the price of the w/o VAT package divided by the wholesale data cap, e.g. 2 x 20 € / VAT 7.70 € = 5 GB in 2017;
  • The pre-paid card allows the buyer the same amount of data volume as that permitted under the national rate. During roaming, the available volume corresponds to the amount of credit divided by the wholesale data cap, e.g.: 20 € / 7.70 € = 3 GB in 2017;
  • The operator can monitor consumption. If a consumer spends more time out of his country of residence and consumes more while there, then it will be necessary to clarify the situation. Eventually, the operator may charge an additional charge for calls, SMS and data;
  • For cross border workers, reasonable use (and therefore not subject to additional costs) is justified if the person connects at least once a day to the network of his / her national operator (one of the two countries chosen).


Stefan Petrovski
qualified Chartered Accountant
International Business Services

(1) Roaming in the EU – Your Europe. More here

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