Paris, 15 June 2017
Roaming charges for mobile customers in Europe have been decreasing steadily over the past ten years, keeping pace with the regulatory changes adopted by the European Parliament and Council. After a series of European-level initiatives in which Arcep played an active role, notably through its involvement in BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications), this steady evolution has reached a decisive milestone. As of today, 15 June 2017, the roaming charges that European users are billed when travelling in another EU Member State (1) have been eliminated.
Henceforth, users travelling in the European Union can use their mobile phone under the same conditions as when they are at home. In other words they can roam like at home. This general rule does contain provisions to safeguard against customer abuses or challenges to these newfound entitlements. In particular, for customers with unlimited plans or plans with very high data allowances, or for prepaid offers, operators can introduce a cap on data roaming services. This cap, which is governed by regulation, must in any event not unduly inconvenience users' data roaming in Europe. And users must be clearly informed of any such cap.
These new provisions also apply to roaming in French overseas territories and departments for users travelling within the country, which includes both mainland and overseas France (2).
Arcep welcomes the achievement of this objective which represents a major milestone in the creation of the Digital Single Market, and it will be especially mindful of ensuring that operators comply with their newfound obligations.
*(1) The European Economic Area countries that are non-EU members (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) will apply the European "roam like at home" (RLAH) regulation at a later date.
(2) Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon*