Romania to cap prices of calls to EEA countries as from May 15

Fixed and mobile calls made from Romania to any country within the European Economic Area (the EU countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) will not exceed 0.19 euro (excluding VAT) per minute, or 0.06 euro for a text message starting May 15, 2019, Romania's National Communications Regulation and Administration Authority (ANCOM) reported on Monday. The reasons behind the caps are found in Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Agency for Support for BEREC (BEREC Office), amending Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1211/2009, which says that high prices for intra-EU communications represent a barrier to the functioning of the internal market as they discourage seeking and purchasing goods and services from a provider located in another Member State. "It is hence necessary to set specific and proportionate limits to the price that providers of publicly available number-based interpersonal communications services may charge consumers for intra-EU communications in order to eliminate such high prices," according to ANCOM. According to the market watchdog, international calls to the EEA are calls made when the consumer in the country of subscription calls someone else in the EEA, unlike roaming calls, which are calls made by the user when travelling abroad. The 0.19-euro cap on prices for calls and 0.06 for SMS messages apply only to the calls and text messages to EEA numbers which are priced according to actual consumption and not those included in subscriptions /plans already purchased. However, after the free minutes and SMS are exhausted, the applicable prices shall comply with the regulated caps. The regulator says that the scope of these caps identical to the scope of the 'Roam like at home' European regulation. "Specifically the price caps on international calls apply to communications to the EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and also to certain remote European territories, namely the French Guyana, the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, Saint-Martin (only the part of the island belonging to France), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and the Aland Islands. " At the same time, the application of the provisions of art. 5a of Regulation no. 2015/2120 for calls or SMS to UK and Northern Ireland numbers and numbers in Gibraltar depends on the developments in the Brexit negotiations. According to the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of the European Parliament and of the Council, the caps are also considered to be a suitable benchmark for setting the maximum rate for regulated intra-EU communications for five years starting from 15 May 2019. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Badea, editor: Mariana Nica; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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