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EU extends ban on roaming fees by another 10 years

The European Union has extended for another ten years its ban on mobile phone roaming surcharges for people using their European handsets while travelling in the 27-nation bloc.

The “roam like at home” scheme is one of the more popular pieces of legislation for EU citizens and residents.

It allows them to make calls and texts and use data in other EU countries at the same price as that charged in their domestic plans.

The European Council representing the EU’s member states said it gave final approval to extend the scheme beyond when the current regulation expires at the end of June.

It will now continue until 2032.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) noted in a statement that the renewed policy requires telecom operators to strive to give roaming at the same quality, meaning EU visitors not being shunted to lower speed 3G or 4G networks when higher speed ones are available.

BEUC’s deputy director general Ursula Pachl called the extended policy “one of the EU’s greatest success stories for consumers” and one of the “tangible benefits” of its single market.

Many consumers in Britain, which left the European Union two years ago, are seeing roaming charges return.

At least three big British telecom operators decided to bring back added roaming fees, which average an extra £2 per day for those visiting the EU. AFP

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