European Parliament ratifies end to roaming charges

We first started to hear about the EU taking action to reduce mobile roaming charges in 2007. Costs for mobile roaming started to come down significantly not long after that but it wasn't until 2014 that EU lawmakers approved a plan to end roaming charges. That plan saw roaming rates cut by 55% not long after the pan was drafted.

This summer Europe announced that roaming fees would be ended by 2017 and this week EU Parliament has ratified that plan. The ratification of the plan will see an end of wholesale mobile roaming charges by June 15, 2017.

The move also sets net neutrality rules in EU law for the first time. With the new rules, EU mobile customers will pay home rates for voice, texting, and mobile data when traveling within the European Union. Users will be subject to a fair use cap that hasn't been defined.

Mobile roaming fees have declined by 80% since 2007 when the EU first took action and the decrease in roaming fees has increased the volume of data roaming by 630%. The only question now is how much data roaming will consumers be allowed under the fair use cap and what will the rates be when that cap is exceeded.