As we reported in August, EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes will propose a new European Union law on September 11 that seeks to merge the European telecom markets into a single market by 2016. According to early leaks of the proposal, the EU is expected to ban roaming charges from 2016 on by mandating the creation of operator alliances. In addition, if you happen to be roaming abroad, you’ll be able to choose a different operator that charges a lower rate than that of your home carrier.
The latest stage of cost-cutting regulation in the European Union went into effect on July 1, effectively cutting roaming costs in the region. Further price cuts are already planned for July 2014, but the new law could bring prices down even more and even lead to operators offering pan-European service plans.
The removal of EU roaming charges was first whispered back in May and has since gained momentum. Global SIM cards will likely remain a top choice for travelers, especially with costs dropping in the EU. There’s also the question of other countries outside the European Union: With roaming charges making up a pretty sizeable chunk of carrier profits, could these new laws cause prices to rise elsewhere as carriers try to make up the difference? Of course, on the flipside, roaming costs do have their disadvantages, especially for customers. Only time will tell.