New roaming rules enter into force

Regulation 2022/612 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Roaming Regulation) enters into force today, maintaining that the price of roaming communications (voice calls, SMS messages and data) between European Union (EU) countries must not exceed the charges paid for national communications (roam-like-at-home scheme).

However, the possibility remains for operators to implement a responsible use policy (RUP) for those roaming communications (the detailed rules of which are set out in Regulation (EU) 2016/2286, of 15 December 2016, with the aim of avoiding situations of abusive or anomalous use of the roaming service, among others. Thus, if the customer violates the limits or rules of that PUR, the price of their roaming communications may be increased by certain maximum surcharges, and there may also be limits on the use of data roaming in the EU that are lower than those applicable in national territory.

This Regulation, approved on 6 April, in addition to extending the roam-like-at-home scheme for a further ten years, decreases the maximum wholesale charges to ensure that the provision of roaming services is sustainable for operators across the EU and introduces new measures to ensure that consumers benefit from access to roaming services of the same quality as they enjoy at home.

To the existing rules promoting transparency, new rules are now added to improve information to users on possible inadvertent charges that may result, inter alia, from the use of value-added roaming services and from communications over public mobile networks other than land-based networks, such as aircraft and sea-going vessels. Consumers will also be entitled to free and enhanced access to emergency communications.