Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Bregu said that July 1 is a historic day for the region as roaming costs are abolished as of today, which is only the first step in what is planned for the future.
Today is a historic day for the region. We are eliminating barriers, borders, and mobile phone roaming tariffs. The Balkans tomorrow will be roaming-free. It is just the first step. What the RCC has succeeded in doing with mobile phones, we hope to do with people and businesses in the Balkans. We are working hard on opening borders, eliminating tariffs, increasing trade, and making it so not just for mobile phones, but also for people so they can travel and work without restrictions. Tomorrow we will be much closer to our common regional goals, said Bregu.
“Well, that was my opening sentence at the Western Balkans Digital Summit in Belgrade on 4 April 2019 where all WB6 signed the new Regional Roaming Agreement (RRA)! I can say that again! Success is the difference that makes the difference!
It is needless to say how proud we at the RCC are to have been an inevitable ingredient of this success story. You all know the feeling.
We honour the commitment shown by all in making this happen. From WB6 leaders, European Commission, to national regulatory authorities and mobile operators. No room for modesty here. We have come a long way in short period of just over two years,” underlined Bregu.
RRA was a gradual process but its benefits were valet-friendly for all citizens as the transition period itself brought reductions of roaming costs throughout the region of up to 96%, with them being completely eliminated on 1 July 2021 for the citizens of the Western Balkans wherever they travel within the region.
We are frequently asked what the Roaming Free Western Balkans actually means. I will say it is more than the value of money we save by having RRA in place. It is more about connectivity! People feel better creating deeper connections. Talking to a loved one over the phone or video call may not give the same level of happiness one gets from hugging, but its human and now will not cost a king’s ransom, only what you would spend calling from next door. Social connections are a primary need for all humans.
Again, money is not irrelevant here. With a Free Roam regime in the WB6 citizens and businesses will get more value for their money.
“Important to note, to eliminate some misunderstanding: we still pay our telephone services to our operators, but this agreement ensures that we feel the roaming-like-at-home no matter where we are in the Balkans. This does not mean you can watch a Netflix movie with your internet package!”
Demand for roaming services shows no sign of slowing down. Borderless connectivity is encouraging for all. From citizens, to operators, the business community, up to the delight of holidaymakers.
Roam Like at Home is the freedom to enjoy your travels without limitations, it gives you the means to ensure all is well at home and to interact daily with your loved ones.