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General

Fifth of EU residents plan to call more after intra-EU prices capped

Tuesday 14 May 2019 | 13:09 CET | News

A fifth of EU residents said they expect to contact other EU countries more after after the new caps on intra-EU call and SMS rates take effect 15 May, a survey by Eurobarometer found. In total, 42 percent of EU residents have contacted someone in another EU country in the past month, and 30 percent of these respondents said they plan to do so more often after 15 May. 

The price cap is part of the new EU telecoms code that took effect in late 2018. The European Parliament added the cap on intra-EU calls in order to bring the rates more in line with the regulations limiting roaming charges in the EU and to support the single market. As a result, calls between EU countries will cost a maximum EUR 0.19 per minute and SMS at most EUR 0.06 from 15 May. The price caps exclude local VAT. 

The European Commission said the new rules for international calls tackle large price discrepancies across the EU states. On average, the standard price of a fixed or mobile intra-EU call was three times higher than the standard price of a domestic call, while SMS were more than twice as expensive. In some cases, an intra-EU call can cost up to ten times more than a national call. 

Nevertheless, the most popular way of communicating with others in the EU is internet messaging (23%). Only 10 percent who had communicated in the past month said they used a fixed line to call someone in the EU, 11 percent sent an international SMS and 17 percent used a mobile phone. Residents of Luxembourg were the most likely to use intra-EU communications, with over half (54%) calling another EU country over a mobile line in the past month. Italians were the least likely, at just 8 percent making intra-EU mobile calls.  

Furthermore, a majority of the respondents (52%) across the EU said they already had a telecoms plan that allows some (22%) or unlimited (30%) communications with Europe. This is most common in France (45%) and Slovenia (43%). 

The new rules will apply in all 28 EU countries as of 15 May and soon also in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The maximum price is capped only for personal usage and not for business customers. 



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Categories: General
Countries: Europe
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