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The Eastern Partnership Regional Roaming Agreement: What You Need to Know

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative between the European Union (EU) and six Eastern European countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. One of the key initiatives of the EaP is to eliminate roaming charges between the participating countries.

The Eastern Partnership Regional Roaming Agreement (EaP RRA) was signed in 2019 and entered into force in 2020. It aims to reduce the cost of mobile roaming within the region, making it easier for people to keep in touch with friends and family as well as do business across borders.

What does the EaP RRA mean for consumers?

Since the EaP RRA came into effect, mobile phone users in the participating countries have been able to use their phones abroad without incurring additional charges. This applies to calls, text messages, and data usage.

For example, if you are a Moldovan visiting Armenia, you can use your Moldovan SIM card to make calls and browse the internet without paying extra fees. This is particularly useful for people who frequently travel for work or leisure, as it means they can stay connected without worrying about the cost.

What does the EaP RRA mean for businesses?

For businesses operating in the EaP region, the EaP RRA is a game-changer. It means that companies can communicate with customers and partners in other countries without having to worry about the cost of mobile roaming.

For example, a Georgian business that needs to call a supplier in Azerbaijan can now do so without incurring high charges. This makes it easier for businesses to expand their operations across borders and take advantage of new opportunities.

What are the benefits of the EaP RRA?

The EaP RRA has several benefits, including:

– Increased connectivity: The agreement makes it easier for people and businesses to communicate across borders, which can help to strengthen ties between the participating countries.

– Reduced costs: eliminating roaming charges means that people and businesses can save money on mobile phone bills.

– Improved competitiveness: the EaP RRA can help to boost the region`s economy by making it easier for businesses to trade and compete with each other.

What are the challenges of the EaP RRA?

Despite the many benefits of the EaP RRA, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed. For example:

– Technical issues: some mobile network operators may have difficulty implementing the new rules, which could lead to disruptions in service.

– Uneven adoption: while all six EaP countries have signed the agreement, not all of them have fully implemented it yet. This could cause confusion for users who are travelling between countries.

– Language barriers: although English is used as the working language of the EaP RRA, there may be difficulties in communicating the new rules to consumers in their local languages.

Conclusion

Overall, the Eastern Partnership Regional Roaming Agreement is a significant step forward for the EaP region. By eliminating roaming charges and making it easier for people and businesses to stay connected, the agreement has the potential to boost economic growth and improve social cohesion in the participating countries. However, there are also challenges that need to be addressed in order to fully realise the benefits of the EaP RRA. As the agreement continues to be implemented, it will be important to monitor its impact and make adjustments as needed.