The European Union has announced that it’s finally close to ending mobile phone roaming charges. As of 15 June 2017, EU residents will be able to use their mobile phone at normal rates in any other country in the bloc.
The new rules have been on the cards for some time, but there have been some problems to overcome. The final challenge was agreeing on wholesale caps - the amount that mobile operators can charge each other to let other customers use their networks, and this barrier has now been cleared.
Roaming rates have long been a point of contention for mobile customers, with numerous newspaper reports about people coming home with massive bills. As of 15 June though, people can use their phones and pay no more than they do in their home country.
As with any EU news, of course, there's the question of what this means for the UK. As the rules apply to any country in the EU, and the UK currently is still part of it, roaming fees won't apply to those of us travelling around Europe.
Once the UK leaves - which is currently looking like it will be the end of spring 2019 - it's less clear how roaming charges will work. It seems likely that roaming charges will return, but much of it depends on Brexit negotiations to come.
For now though, it's good news for anyone planning their summer holidays. Emmanuel Mallia, the EU's digital minister, said: "Today's decision is the final step in a process that started 10 years ago… Roam like at home is now a reality."
Source: Sky News