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Lower roaming tariffs as of April 30 2016

Roaming costs for calling, texting or surfing online within the European Union in almost all situations will go down from April 30. From June 15, 2017, roaming costs will even be partially abolished. This has been laid down in the so-called Roaming regulation, which contains arrangements about roaming costs made between the 28 countries of the European Union. These arrangements also apply to Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland. As the telecom regulator in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has also contributed to the Roaming regulation. Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “As a result of the Roaming regulation, consumers are better protected against unexpected high costs when using their phones, smartphones or tablets in another EU country. The maximum tariffs for data per MB, calling per minute, and texting per text message have now been set.”

Roaming costs when abroad

When using their mobile phones or tablets abroad, consumers not only pay costs of their Dutch carrier, but they also pay roaming costs of a foreign carrier for the use of their network. When consumers use their mobile phones abroad, they use the international roaming service of a foreign carrier. Eventually, the European Union wishes to abolish all roaming costs.

‘Avoid any unpleasant surprises’

Consumers are often unaware that they also pay roaming costs if they call a local number when they are abroad, for example, if they order a taxi or make reservations at a restaurant. In addition, sharing your experiences or following your friends on social media can give you an unpleasant surprise afterwards. In order to inform everyone properly, ACM has released detailed information for consumers on its consumer information portal ConsuWijzer. Mr. Don adds: “Despite the maximum tariffs, roaming costs can still mount up unnoticed. So avoid any unpleasant surprises, and pay attention to your usage and to the conditions of your plan.”

Choose the plan that suits your needs

In almost all situations, roaming costs will go down thanks to the new rules. ACM advises consumers to educate themselves properly: choose the plan that suits your usage and situation, and go through the conditions of your plan before going abroad.

Maximum roaming tariffs as of 30 April 2016:

Since 30 April 2016, new roaming tariffs have come into effect. These tariffs come on top of the regular costs for data, voice, and texts. The maximum tariffs of these roaming tariffs are:

  (excluding VAT) (including VAT)
Making a call per minute € 0.05 € 0.0605
Receiving a call per minute € 0.0114 € 0.013794
Texting per text € 0.02 € 0.0242
Data per MB € 0.05 € 0.0605

The roaming tariffs plus the regular costs for data, voice, and text, cannot exceed the following tariffs (unless roaming tariffs are not billed):

  (excluding VAT) (including VAT)
Making a call per minute € 0.19 € 0.2299
Receiving a call per minute € 0.05 € 0.0605
Texting per text € 0.06 € 0.0726
Data per MB € 0.20 € 0.242