Since a new law got rid of roaming surcharges for phone calls, text messages and data use, the number of consumers who used data while travelling like they do at home doubled to 31% between mid-June and the end of August.
Before 15 June, when it became illegal for telecoms operators to charge roaming fees, only 15% of Europeans used mobile data when abroad. In June, the Commission heralded the law as a major success for the EU institutions amid the rise of populist eurosceptic parties across the bloc.
Mariya Gabriel, the new EU digital Commissioner who took office one month after the roaming rules went into force, said on Tuesday (26 September) the Commission will keep monitoring how consumers use their mobile phones when travelling and whether a large number of telecoms companies apply for exceptions from the rules.
Operators can still ask telecoms regulators for an exemption if they prove that their business will be hurt when they stop charging roaming fees.