In a decision covering all 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the EU’s mobile ‘roam like at home’ scheme will be extended until 2032, according to a provisional agreement between negotiators from the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. The development should ensure that people can continue to make calls, text and browse the web without extra fees while travelling within all participating countries after the current roaming regulation expires on 30 June 2022. The provisional agreement is subject to approval by the Council and the full Parliament. Slovenia – current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency – aims to submit the agreement to the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) for endorsement on 15 December.
A press release notes that the revised roaming regulation adjusts the maximum wholesale prices to ensure that the provision of retail roaming services at domestic prices is sustainable for operators throughout the EU. The European Commission will keep the situation under review and, if appropriate, will present a new legislative proposal to regulate the wholesale price caps and possibly other aspects of the roaming market. The fair use policy, which is designed to prevent permanent roaming, will continue. The Commission may suggest changes to it after a thorough analysis of the market and a due assessment of the potential impact. The revised regulation includes measures to ensure a good customer experience in terms of quality of service and access to emergency services, including for people with special needs. It increases transparency for services that may be subject to extra cost, and will also protect customers from bill shocks resulting from inadvertent roaming on non-terrestrial mobile networks when on ferries or aeroplanes.