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Russia to Scrap Domestic Roaming Fees in 2019

Igor Generalov / TASS

After years of fits and starts, it looks like domestic roaming fees will soon be a thing of the past in Russia, a country that spans 11 time zones.

Russia’s four largest mobile operators vowed to scrap domestic roaming fees for incoming calls in the fall of 2018 following a Federal Antimonopoly Service investigation.

New measures that President Vladimir Putin signed into law Thursday require telecom operators to set the same fees for cell phone users who travel outside their “home” region.

The changes will take effect on June 1, 2019.

The flat fees are expected to help Russians save 36 billion rubles ($520 million) in 2019 alone, one of the law’s co-authors, Sergei Mironov, estimated when the State Duma passed the measure on Dec. 19.

"This will allow people who speak with their relatives, friends and colleagues living in other Russian regions to save money,” Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said at the time.

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