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European lawmakers extended free roaming until at least 2032. This means that European citizens remain free of additional mobile internet fees when travelling within one of the 27 EU Member States

This week, European lawmakers this week made good on a promise made in February to extend the regulation that lets EU citizens “roam like at home” for a full decade. The updated regulation also brings some new additions — including a focus on quality of service, requiring operators to provide consumers with the same services abroad if the same networks and technologies are available in the visited Member State.

This means, for example, that a roaming customer who can use 5G services at home should also have 5G roaming services if the network allows it. The quality of service provision does not guarantee the same mobile network speed when roaming, since network speeds can vary. The Commission says the new rules “aim to ensure that when similar quality or speeds are available in the visited network, the domestic operator should ensure the same quality of the roaming service”.

Regulation

Operators are also required to inform their customers of the quality of services they can expect while roaming by stating this in the roaming contract and publishing information on their website.

The Commission argues that quality of service will be increasingly important as 5G rollouts expand and mobile network technology continues to evolve. Its announcement includes the phrase ‘future 6G’ alongside talk of the EU “investing in developing and using innovative digital solutions”.

“In terms of 5G services, it will become more and more important for consumers travelling abroad to know if they can be affected by limitations in available network quality when using certain applications and services”, it suggests.

“The new roaming rules aim to enable innovation and business development, ensuring the widest use of innovative services and minimising the risk that citizens would not be able to use certain applications requiring the latest network technology, such as 5G, when crossing internal EU borders.”