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EU scraps mobile roaming charges within bloc

EU scraps mobile roaming charges within bloc
The bill to abolish mobile roaming charges within the European Union has passed the final vote. The law allowing EU citizens to call, text or surf the net without paying any extra charges will come into force on June 15th.

After months of discussions, the European Parliament and Commission will sign the bill in May.

“Today's final vote in the Council clears the path for free roaming. When Europeans go on holiday this summer, they can enjoy the freedom of being able to stay in touch and use the internet as if they were at home. The EU is making our lives easier in very practical ways,” Dr. Emmanuel Mallia, the Maltese Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy said in a statement.

The law dubbed “Roam like at home” will reportedly affect not only the people living in Europe who travel to other EU countries for work or leisure but also those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

“It is not intended to allow permanent roaming where a customer would take out a subscription in the cheapest possible country and use it to roam in his home country,” according to the press release.

The EU had previously reduced roaming charges by introducing the so-called “EuroTariff” before agreeing to abolish them altogether. The future change may be useful for tourists traveling around the EU, as it lets them buy a single SIM-card and use it everywhere during the holiday with no extra cost.

UK mobile customers will be able to benefit from the end of roaming charges only until the spring of 2019 when the country is expected to quit the bloc.