Roaming charges within EU cheaper as of this month.
Telecommunications companies have already taken actions to comply with EU regulations that call for further reductions of roaming prices at the end of April, the office of the Commissioner for Electronic Communications & Postal Regulations (OCECPR) said on Thursday.
On April 30 the transitional period kicks in for the final reductions in roaming charges telecommunications companies impose on their customers who travel to other EU member states. Following EU policy, these roaming charges will cease to exist as of June 15, 2017, and consumers will pay the same price for calls, texts and mobile data wherever they are travelling within the bloc.
"Calling a friend when you are at home or in another EU country won't make a difference on your bill," a relevant EU article said.
This is part of the EU Commission's policy, introduced in 2007, to tackle overcharging in roaming prices. In 2007, the Commission introduced the "Eurotariff" capped maximum prices for phone calls made and received while abroad. These maximum prices apply to all consumers, unless they opt for special packages offered by their operators. Over time the rules have been periodically reviewed and reformed, with further reductions in price caps.
As of this month roaming became even cheaper. Telecommunications companies will only be allowed to charge a small additional amount on domestic prices; up to e1/40.05 per minute for outgoing calls, e1/40.02 per SMS sent, and e1/40.05 per MB of data, excluding VAT.
According to the OCECPR, during this transitional period which lasts until June 14, 2017, providers are not allowed to charge more than the cap price set by the Commission; e1/40.19 per minute for outgoing calls, e1/40.06 per SMS message, and e1/40.20 per MB for mobile internet. Incoming calls should not be charged more than e1/40.05 per minute.
The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) will reduce its roaming charges between 20 and 72 per cent. The company's spokesman Lefteris Christou told the Cyprus Mail that charges for outgoing calls will drop by 33 per cent, to e1/40.15 per minute, while for local calls within the visiting country, charges drop by 72per cent, to e1/40.167 per minute.
SMS charges will drop by 32 per cent to e1/40.048 per message, and mobile internet roaming charges will drop between 20 and 33 per cent, depending on the service package of consumers.
MTN Cyprus and Primetel were not immediately available for a comment.
The European Commission says that retail prices for cross-border calls, texts and data have fallen by more than 80 percent since 2007, and for data by up to 91 percent.
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