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The EU Forces to Lower Prices for Calls and SMS

As it did with the end of roaming in 2017, now the EU intends to compulsorily lower the rates of calls and SMS between European countries, a measure that aims to reduce the large price differences from one place to another.

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As it did with the end of roaming in 2017, now the EU intends to compulsorily lower the rates of calls and SMS between European countries, a measure that aims to reduce the large price differences from one place to another.

The European Union does not give up in its effort to reduce the tariff differences of the communications between the member countries of the Union. In June 2017, it ended up roaming, forcing operators to eliminate the cost of roaming communication within European countries.

From next Wednesday, European operators will not be able to invoice their customers more than 19 euro cents (plus VAT) for each minute of call originating in and destined for a member country of the EU, and 6 cents (plus VAT) for each SMS sent to these countries.

This measure will correct the huge differences in the price of calls between member countries, among which there were rates up to ten times higher than the average for the rest of the countries.

From next Wednesday, the differences in the maximum final price paid by European citizens who make intra-community calls will be the equivalent to the VAT that each state applies, varying between 17% and 27%. In Spain, 21% VAT will be applied to the maximum rate imposed by the European Union.

The measure only applies to the rates of private users, but not to company rates. In addition, those users who already include a fixed monthly price for volume in this type of services included in their rate will also be excluded, although if the user considers that after the new measure is in a disadvantaged position, he / she can request the rate change .

It should be noted that, just as it happened with the elimination of roaming, only countries that are part of the European Union are included in this reduction in the price of calls and SMS in Europe, and that countries such as Andorra are not part of this agreement.

However, some countries that are not part of the European Union, such as Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland, will be included in the coming months.

The vice president for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, highlighted the measure as “[…] a concrete example of how the Digital Single Market favors citizens in their daily lives”.

With this measure the European Union not only seeks to put an end to the inequality of criteria when establishing telephone rates, but also advocates to boost competitiveness at a European level.

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