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EU to scrap daily roaming limits as part of new plans

The EU will scrap plans to introduce daily free roaming limits according to European Commission Vice-President for the digital single market, Andrus Ansip.

Criticism followed the Commission’s recent proposal for new roaming rules, which included a cap on free roaming for 30 consecutive days and and annual limit of 90 days.

Roaming fees are set to be abolished by 2017, but the draft rules would have meant the usual roaming charges would have applied outside the limits suggested in the proposal.

Related: EU Roaming charges explained

Now, it seems the daily limits will no longer be a part of the new roaming laws, set to come into effect in June 2017.

Speaking at a news conference Ansip said: “We will not put any limit in terms of days… but we decided to put clear safeguards in terms of residency.”

Instead, the Commission proposed alternative checks based on an individual’s country of residence to prevent abuse of the system.

The concern is that users will buy mobile contracts from providers in an EU country other than their own, and simply use free roaming in their home country to avoid any charges.

Related: Best smartphone

The daily limits were designed to prevent such abuse, but under the new proposals, operators such as Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom will have the ability to check customer usage patterns.

One example of this is if users have low domestic usage on their accounts, but high usage in other countries, the operators can take action such as applying roaming surcharges.

The European Parliament is currently debating the level of those surcharges, and a final agreement is expected early next year.

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