Transmitting Equipment / Mobile Phones

There is a 2014 directive on putting radio equipment on the market.  The rules seek to keep pace with the growing number of radio equipment devices and ensure that they do not interfere with each other in respect of essential health and safety requirements.  There are additional provisions for market surveillance, to track and monitor products which fail to comply with the essential requirements.

The directive applies to equipment which emits and receive radio waves for locational speed and equivalent purposes and for communication purposes.  It accordingly includes mobile phones.

The directive sets out requirements which apply to manufacturers, importers, and distributors.  Before products might be put on the market or imported into the EU, they must meet the essential requirements.  They seek to protect the health and safety of the persons and domestic animals.

There are provisions seeking to protect personal data and provides protection against fraud, access to emergency services and features to assist persons with a disability.

The Commission has been granted powers to require the compatibility to chargers and essential requirements for mobile phones.  They may make provision for the Interoperability of radio equipment and accessories.

Further Mobile Phone Measures

A 2012 regulation seeks to boost competition in the market for mobile phone, text messages and internet access while travelling to the EU.

Under EU data roaming rules, there have been reductions in the price caps that are to be paid for roaming services within the EU.  Persons travelling outside the EU are to receive a warning text message, email or pop up when they come close to receiving €50 of data downloads or the pre-agreed levels.

Consumers may choose a separate roaming contract before they travel.  Consumers should be enabled to compare roaming offers.

From 1st July 2014, roaming customers pay no more than €0.19 per minute to make a call, €0.05 per minute to receive a call, €0.06 to send a text message and €0.20 per megabyte to download the data or browse the internet while travelling within the EU.

An EU directive 2010 seeks to create a framework on the deployment of intelligent transport systems in the field of road transport and interfaces with other modes of transport.  The purpose is to speed up responses from emergency services to car crash victims.

The aim of the e-call is to bring a rapid assistance for a vehicle involved in a serious accident anywhere in the EU.  It is activated automatically as soon as the vehicle sensors detects the serious crash.  The system dials the European emergency number 112 and sends details of the accident to rescue services including time, accurate position, and direction of travel.  It may be triggered by pushing a button on the car by the passenger or witness.

Roaming charges within the European Union

Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 — roaming on public mobile communications networks within the EU aims to end roaming charges while travelling within the EU. This means that EU citizens travelling within the EU can make calls, send text messages and access the internet on their mobile phones for the same price as in their own countries.
It also sets out safeguards to ensure that mobile telephone operators are protected against abuses and can sustain the new roaming rules without increasing domestic prices.

Regulation (EU) 2017/920 amends Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 with effect from 15 June 2017. It introduces rules that limit the amount that mobile telephone operators may charge one another for roaming (i.e. wholesale roaming) in the EU.

Call, text and data costs incurred while travelling in another EU country will be deducted from the user’s domestic volume.

Operators do not have to offer roaming services; however, if they do, they must observe the ‘roam like at home’ principle and charge users only the domestic rate.

The regulation is not intended to permit ‘permanent roaming’, where a subscriber identity module (SIM) card from another EU country is used on a permanent basis.

Operators can detect abuses of the principle by analysing roaming and domestic calls and use of mobile services over a 4-month period.

If a customer spends a majority of their time abroad and uses their mobile phone more abroad than at home, the operator can ask the customer to clarify the situation within 14 days.

This check is designed to target those who stay abroad for long periods, not those who log on to their national network regularly, such as frontier workers.

If a user remains permanently outside the country where the SIM card was issued, the operator can apply a surcharge:
maximum €0.032 per minute of voice call;
maximum €0.01 per short message service (SMS);
maximum €7.70 per gigabyte of data from 15 June 2017 to 31 December 2017, decreasing on 1 January each year as follows: €6 in 2018, €4.50 in 2019, €3.50 in 2020, €3 in 2021 and €2.50 in 2022.

In case of domestic ‘open data bundles’ (i.e. unlimited data, or data at a very low unit price), the operator may apply a limit to roaming data without surcharge. This limit must be above a threshold based on the price of the domestic bundle and is large enough to cover most customers’ roaming needs. Beyond this limit, the customer can continue data roaming with a surcharge as indicated above.
The national regulator may authorise an exception to the ‘roam like at home’ principle in cases where an operator can show, based on evidence, that it cannot provide ‘roam like at home’ services without increasing its domestic prices.

It has applied since 1 July 2012.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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