On the consumer side, the new plan removes the previous 90-day cap on free roaming usage, allowing unlimited time and data use abroad within the European Union.
Free EU roaming will apply to travelers who either reside or have “stable links” in an EU member country and have a corresponding SIM card. Examples of “stable links” include commuters, expatriates who frequently visit their home country or Erasmus students, the Commission said.
The roaming agreement will allow EU wireless customers to pay domestic rates when they talk, text or use data in a member country.
But the new plan also provides safeguards for carriers who fear abuse of the new system.
The updated draft will allow operators to check customer usage patterns to determine whether there is insignificant domestic traffic compared to roaming; extended inactivity of a SIM that is used mostly for roaming; and use of multiple SIM cards by the same customer while roaming.
If a customer’s account meets those conditions, operators will be permitted to apply small surcharges – with a proposed maximum of .04 euros per minute per call, .01 euros per SMS, and .0085 euros per megabyte of data – for roaming use. Complaints procedures to process disagreements will need to be put in place by operators, the Commission said.
The Commission said the plan will be open for feedback from operators, EU members states and other interested parties prior to its planned adoption on December 15.
Filed Under: Industry regulations