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New EU digital agenda for W.Balkans lowers roaming charges

Commissioner Gabriel says a decrease for data will start in 2019

25 June, 19:01
(ANSA) - BRUXELLES, 25 GIU - The EU Commissioner for Digital announced today in Sofia that tariffs on data traffic in the Western Balkans will be cut down starting from the summer of 2019. The EU, she said, is also targeting the reduction of costs on regional calls within the next two years. These measures are set out in the new digital agenda of the European Commission for the Western Balkans, which was launched today. "We want to prepare the Western Balkans for their accession, the first measures will take effect next summer, they are anti-shock measures and transparency measures," Gabriel said, confirming that there "will be a decrease of prices for the States in the region", even though not yet for roaming costs between the Balkans and the EU.

Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Macedonia's telecom operators have a regional agreement, while Albania and Kosovo are still not answering the call.

"Starting from summer next year, there will be a decrease for data (70 cents per megabyte). In the meantime, in order to enable a decrease for voice calls, we have started a monitoring process what will be carried out by the Bureau of European regulators (Berec) together with local regulators. Our goal is to provide tangible results within the next 3, 4 years," Gabriel pointed out.

The Digital Agenda also commits the Western Balkans to invest more in broadband connectivity, increase cybersecurity, digitisation of industry, and boost research and innovation. The programme "will help modernise public administrations, strengthen cybersecurity, increase connectivity, and improve the business climate", Gabriel said.(ANSA).

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