The cost of receiving calls while roaming cut by 77% in 2016

The price of calls received in roaming will be cut by 77% this year, from 5 eurocents per minute to 1.14 eurocents per minute, under rules set out by the European Commission and which enter into force on 30 April 2016.

Under these rules, the price charged for outgoing calls made while roaming will be the price charged in the consumer's country of origin plus a surcharge of five eurocents per minute; the same rule will apply to data traffic (domestic price plus five eurocents per megabyte). In the case of SMS messages sent, the price charged will also be the same as in the domestic market, plus a surcharge of only two eurocents.

These prices will apply between 30 April 2016 and 15 June 2017, after which no additional fee may be charged to customers for making or receiving calls, sending SMS messages or using data services in any Member State of the EU in roaming, above the domestic retail price.

However, the Regulation allows operators to apply a so-called fair use policy: when roaming use exceeds defined limits, a small fee may be charged, not exceeding the cap on wholesale charges that operators pay for using the networks of other EU countries. The Commission, supported by BEREC, have until 15 December 2016 to define the limits of fair use.