Data Roaming Charges to End in EU

It has been announced that data roaming charges will end in the European Union by 2020.

The deal was confirmed on Tuesday and sets out rules requiring telecom operators to treat internet traffic equally.

It will also allow firms to favour services such as internet TVs , as long as they do not have an effect on the overall quality of internet traffic.

From April next year, internet telecom operators will be able to add a surcharge of the following:

• €0.05 (3.5p) extra per minute for calls

• €0.02 extra per SMS sent

• €0.05 extra per megabyte of data used

The European Commission said the new rules will make roaming within the EU 75% cheaper during the interim period.

The agreement is the conclusion of years of campaigning to define the EU nations' approach to regulating internet traffic and cut roaming traffic.

The rules follow proposals that were put forward in March this year which, at the time, analysts said were a weaker version of what European regulators had originally promised.

The Commission said they would also be able to control traffic if it was in the public interest to do so.

The fourth largest grouping of MEPs in the European Parliament, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, has previously criticised regulators for trying to regulate plans to end data roaming. It welcomed Tuesday's announcement however.

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