The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday adopted cuts to wholesale roaming rates as it continues its march toward the elimination of retail roaming charges in the European Union (EU) altogether.
The new proposal from the EC would reduce wholesale roaming charges to 4 euro cents per minute for voice calls, 1 euro cent per SMS message sent and 0.85 euro cents per megabyte (MB) of data used.
The proposed change is part of the EC’s plan to eliminate retail roaming charges for mobile users by next year. That plan to end roaming charges was approved in October, but did not previously include measures on the wholesale roaming market because additional investigation of market conditions was necessary, the EC said.
The EC said users have been paying roaming charges of 5 euro cents per minute, 2 euro cents per SMS and 5 euro cents per MB of data on top of their domestic service costs since April 30.
Retail roaming charges are scheduled to disappear entirely on June 15, 2017 as part of the “roam-like-at-home” plan, the EC said.
The plan, however, depends on the existence of wholesale roaming prices that enable operators to sustain free retail roaming services, the EC said. That’s where the new wholesale figures come in.
“We want to make sure that the end of roaming charges works properly for consumers and market players,” Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger said. “This is why we come today with a proposal on wholesale roaming markets. We count now on the European Parliament and the Council to keep the pace and adopt it swiftly.”