Serbia still waiting for roaming charges to be abolished

Since mid-last year, the EU citizens are paying the same price for mobile phone usage at home and abroad , while Serbia and the countries in the region are still waiting for the roaming charges to be abolished.

Although officials announced that that could happen at a recently held the Western Balkans – EU Summit in Sofia, the only thing that was agreed on is that Serbia would have lower roaming charges.  of services was agreed on for Serbia. So, can people in our country expect the abolition of expensive roaming tariffs in the next few years?

Although the Sofia Summit, which was deemed by the media as “D Day“ for telecommunications in the region, that is the date when roaming charges for the countries of the Western Balkans would be abolished, nothing has been announced yet.

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For now, roaming charges are staying for regional countries. The Serbian Telecommunications Ministry says a new summit, expected to take place in London in July, could bring better news.

“We hope that we will not have to wait a few more years and we believe that this year, perhaps at this the Western Balkan Summit in London in July, we may sign an agreement on reduction of roaming prices in the Western Balkans, which would be the first step towards the abolition of roaming charges in mobile phone calls to the European Union countries, which could happen, which is the best case scenario, within a year of signing of the London Agreement,” said State Secretary at the Ministry of Telecommunications, Tatjana Matic.

Vip Mobile, which is one of the three mobile operators in the Serbian market, says that the abolition of roaming charges is a lengthy and complicated process, is primarily regulatory in nature and mostly depends on intergovernmental agreements.

In the European Union, the process lasted 10 years, so the process in Serbia will not go so fast.

“We do not have concrete information from our official institutions whether these negotiations are ongoing, but knowing how the process works, we think it is going to be years rather than months until roaming charges are abolished. The EU roaming regulations apply to operators and users who are based in the EU. To us, outside the EU, foreign roaming partners charge differently, regarding which mobile phone network you use in roaming. The first step towards abolishing the roaming charges for users is to  to first reduce prices at the wholesale level ” said Vip Mobile.

The three companies that share the telecommunications market in Serbia – Telenor, MTS and Vip Mobile – all advertise their roaming services as the “most affordable in the market”. Under the standard roaming tariff, one minute of an outgoing call costs between 80 to 159 dinars, depending on the operator and the country you are staying in. SMS in roaming costs from 9 to 50 dinars. But each operator also offers packages with special benefits, depending on the European destination the user is visiting.

(N1, 24.06.2018)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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