The EU “roam like at home” rules mean goodbye to the roaming charges that the mobile phone operators have been charging while travelling outside your home country. It’s great news that now in any EU country you don’t have to pay any additional roaming charges. You benefit from these rules when calling (to mobile and fixed phones), sending text messages (SMS) and using data services while abroad.
You pay exactly the same price for using these services when travelling in the EU as you would if you were at home. In practice, your operator simply charges or takes your roaming consumption from the volumes in your domestic mobile tariff plan / bundle.
If you have a contract with a mobile operator which includes roaming services it will automatically be considered as a roam like at home contract. The default option for all new mobile contracts with roaming services will be roam like at home.
Keep these key factors in mind
Roam like at home is intended for people who occasionally travel outside the country where they live or have stable links i.e. they work or study there. It’s not meant to be used for permanent roaming. As long as you spend more time at home than abroad, or you use your mobile phone more at home than abroad, you can roam freely at domestic prices when travelling anywhere in the EU. This is considered a “fair use of roaming services”. If you are living in one country, but working in another, the European regulation states that the user can choose a mobile operator in one of the two countries and benefit from roaming without surcharge with a SIM card in the country of origin or of work.
If you use your mobile phone abroad permanently, your mobile operator may charge you for your roaming use. These charges are capped however (see fair use policy below).
When you cross a border within the EU, you will continue to receive a text message from your mobile operator informing you that you are roaming and reminding you of its fair use policy.
Fair use policy
Mobile operators may apply what is known as a “fair use policy” to ensure that all roaming customers have access to and benefit from the roam like at home rules (i.e. regulated roaming services at domestic price) when travelling in the EU. Mobile operators may apply fair, reasonable and proportionate control mechanisms to avoid abusive use of these rules.
It is applicable to your visits to any country of the 28 that make up the EU: Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Denmark, , Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom
The information, opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and information and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on any information given.