European Parliament and EU governments agree on extending Roaming rules

The EU’s roam like at home scheme will be extended until 2032, after the Council and European Parliament reached a provisional agreement. The revised regulation will ensure mobile users do not face extra costs for calls or data while travelling within the EU, enjoy the same quality they experience at home, have improved access to emergency communications, and have the right to clear information to avoid surprising high bills while roaming.The agreed text also includes specific referenced to ensuring equal access for persons with disabilities, notably:

  • “Consumer choice and the integration of people with disabilities” is one of the aims of the Regulation (Article 1 – Subject matter and scope).
  • In addition to getting an automatic free of charge message about roaming charges when entering a new EU country, persons with disabilities can request that this information is given to them via a free of charge voice call. (Article 14 – Transparency of retail conditions for roaming calls and SMS messages).
  • Roaming providers must inform customers with an automatic message that they can access emergency services free of charge by calling the single European emergency number ‘112’. This message must include a link to a free of charge, accessible for persons with disabilities, webpage with information on alternative means of access to emergency services available in the hosting country (Article 16 – Transparency on the means of access to emergency services).
  • Further, Recitals 19 and 52 highlight the aim of ensuring equivalent access to emergency communications for persons with disabilities, as required by the European Electronic Communications Code, though real-time-text and total conversation technologies according to the European Accessibility Act, relay services, and other types of communications other than voice communication (e.g. SMS).

This provisional agreement still needs final approval by the Council and the full European Parliament. The new Roaming Regulation is set to enter into force on 1 July 2022.