Call for a limitation of abusive fees charged for cross-border intra-EU phone calls and SMSs in the upcoming review of the telecoms framework
As of 15 June 2017, retail roaming fees charged to consumers when they use their mobile phones within the European Union but outside their home country will finally be eliminated. As mobile phones revolutionise our lives, we believe that this is a great achievement for consumers. The European Union should continue to deliver tangible benefits to EU citizens.
However, the regulation adopted on 27 October 2015 only covers roaming tariffs, and its scope is restricted to phone calls and SMSs originating in a Member State other than the Member State of the mobile subscription. Hence, it does not regulate what are often referred to as intra-EU phone calls and SMSs, which originate in the country of the mobile subscription and terminate in another Member State. This leads to prohibitive prices for consumers (for example, often EUR 1/min for calls and EUR 0.5 for an SMS), and the unacceptable situation whereby calls made while abroad can be cheaper than calls made while at home. Borders do not fit into the digital world and such an outdated practice does not belong in the 21st century.
In its proposal for a Telecoms Single Market, published on 11 September 2013, the Commission proposed to change this situation and to limit the fees charged for phone calls and SMSs from the home country to another Member State. However, these provisions were dropped from the final compromise reached in trilogues. Therefore, as part of the wider push for the completion of a truly European Digital Single Market, one of the top priorities of both Parliament and the Commission, we would like to ask the following question:
Does the Commission intend to make a legislative proposal to regulate intra-EU phone calls and SMSs?
Parliament hereby calls on the Commission to set clear limits in this regard in its upcoming proposal for the revision of the telecoms framework.