Intra-EU communication caps
Intra-EU communication caps apply from 15 May 2019. This means any retail price charged to consumers for regulated intra-EU communications shall not exceed €0,19 (+ VAT) per minute for calls and €0,06 (+ VAT) per SMS message.
The regulation introducing intra-EU caps ensures that these rules will not distort competition, innovation and investment. That means that NRAs may, in exceptional circumstances, grant a derogation from the price regulation of intra-EU communications. The derogation is intended for exceptional circumstances, where the application of the price-caps would significantly impact a provider's capacity to sustain its existing prices for domestic communications.
The cap applies to calls and SMS from one EU Member State to other EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. For calls and SMS originating in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein the rules are applicable from the date they are incorporated in the EEA agreement.
Intra-EU communications in the past
The new rules will ensure that consumers are protected from excessive prices for intra-EU communications. In the past, the prices of these services to call abroad in the EU, in some Member States, largely exceeded the prices for domestic calls and there were significant price differences between EU countries.
Before Intra-EU communications were capped, the average standard price of a fixed or mobile intra-EU call tended to be three times higher than the standard price of a domestic call. While the standard price of an intra-EU SMS was more than twice as expensive as a domestic one. In some cases the standard price of an intra-EU call was up to ten times higher than the standard price for domestic calls.