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Starting Today, Prices of Roaming Services Reduced by 99% for Western Balkan States

Skopje, July 1st, 2019

Starting today, citizens of North Macedonia, during any travel to the countries from the region, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, will be able to connect to and use the Internet, send SMS messages, receive and make calls for prices lowered up to 99%. This was announced today by the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski.

Minister Manchevski's speech, whereby he presents the new roaming services, is available below.

Starting today, citizens of North Macedonia will be able to:

•        Make calls to Western Balkan countries at a price of 5.05 MKD per minute (including VAT). The price thus far amounted to approximately 75.4 MKD.

•         Receive calls while staying in any of the Western Balkan countries at a price of 2.9 MKD per minute (including VAT). Thus far,the price thereof amounted to approximately 30.2 MKD.

•          Send SMS messages while staying in any of the Western Balkan countries at a price of 2.6 MKD (including VAT). The price thus far amounted to approximately 16.1 MKD.

•          Use the Internet in the Western Balkan countries at a price of 1.9 MKD (including VAT).

The prices are linear, i.e. they apply for all countries and for any operator.

Expressed in percentage, this price reduction would mean:

For Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro

68% for outgoing calls

31% for incoming calls

71% for SMS messages, and

89% for Internet use.

The percentage decrease for all services in Albania and Kosovo amounts to over 93%.

The differences in price reduction expressed in percent is due to the fact that the first group includes countries that we have previously signed an agreement with to reduce roaming prices (Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro), whereas the second group includes countries wherein prices of roaming services were not previously regulated (Albania and Kosovo).

The decrease of roaming prices was a conclusion at the first Digital Summit held in Skopje. Following this, all 6 states signed an agreement at the Summit in Belgrade.

In the previous year, active efforts were made to implement this agreement. The process also involved regulators and mobile operators from the Western Balkans. There were also some challenges and problems. A part thereof were caused by business interests, part had a technical nature, and some were politicial. However, in the end, with strong support, primarily from the governments from all countries, the EC and the RCC, we succeeded. I would also use this occation to note efforts made on part of AEC, Telekom and VIP as representatives of our countries, that have given their full support and provided their assistance so to complete this process. We were united by a single goal - for citizens of North Macedonia to finally freely use such services when travelling to countries from the region.

I am convinced that this will also contribute to development and facilitation of communication for those that frequently travel due to work-related duties, but also for citizens that travel as tourists, particularly in the summer season.

However, we will not stop here. We will move further. The following table features the price reduction dynamics.

As presented in the table, starting from July 1st 2021, users will have no costs for using roaming services in WB6, when "Roam Like at Home" will be fully implemented, following the example of EU member-states. 

This agreement was a precondition for initiation of the process of price reduction for roaming prices with EU as well. Talks will be immediatelly initiated, and the underlying goal is to attain such drastic reduction and, ultimately, complete abolition of roaming between Western Balkans and EU after July 1st 2021.

I will reitarate to what I have said in the past - 2019 is a year of implementation of large strategic projects for the Government and for MISA. We stand behind what we have said. We shall move forward, in the interest of citizens of North Macedonia.

Ministry of Information Society and Administration