Mobile Roaming Charges Abolished in the EU

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A new European Union law came into effect on Thursday that abolishes roaming charges for people using mobile phones abroad. The new rules mean that EU citizens traveling within the EU that call, text, and browse the internet on their mobile devices will be charged the same price they pay in their home country.


    Previously, roaming charges were added to the cost of calls, SMS messages, and web browsing whenever mobile users in the EU traveled to another country and connected to another cellular network. The practice of charging consumers extra while they were abroad gained widespread notoriety because users often ended up having to pay extortionate fees for relatively moderate data usage.
    The EU has been negotiating with mobile networks for nearly 10 years to come to an agreement regarding the legislation, following repeated warnings from networks that the law could mean higher tariffs at home. That outcome appears to have been avoided, however.

    "The EU has managed to find the right balance between the end of roaming charges and the need to keep domestic mobile packages competitive and attractive," continued the statement. "Operators have had 2 years to prepare for the end of roaming charges, and we are confident that they will seize the opportunities the new rules bring to the benefit of their customers."

    Despite the new law, consumer watchdog Which? told the BBC that mobile users need to be aware that if they exceed contract data allowances while traveling within the EU they will still be charged, just as they would be in their own country. Also, the law only applies to travelers, so calling another EU country from home will still incur additional charges.

    Update: Some readers are reporting that mobile carriers in certain EU countries have already raised their plan prices, although it's still unclear if this is a direct result of the legislation that came into effect today.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Mobile Roaming Charges Abolished in the EU
  2. djcerla, Jun 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

    djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Sure enough, telecoms will find a way to lucrate on this.

    For example, I have a contract with 7GB of roaming data: I bet they will magically disappear.

    EDIT: yes! I called and Vodafone says my 7GB of roaming are now only usable in extra-UE countries like Turkey. In the countries I visit the most I will have to use my Italian data.
  3. Ballis macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    About time. Hopefully carrier in countries also outside of EU will enter similar agreements.

    Expensive roaming must end
  4. alq macrumors member

    May 6, 2011
    This + higher tarifs for sure.
  5. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    At least we in the UK will get the benefit of this for 18 months or so before Brexit.....
  6. dragje macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2012
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    "Mobile Roaming Charges Abolished in the EU"

    As an eu citizen myself it should be no surprise that I'm quite happy with this news. For 'just' €26 euro's (about $30,-) a month I get unlimited time calling anyone throughout whole of the EU and unlimited data speed (4G where available) as well. It doesn't matter if I'm in France or Spain or some other country within the EU, I can safely talk for hours with my mom in Holland or establish a FaceTime connection without any extra cost and the other way around since my mom has the same account.

    That (!!) is the way it should be globally i.m.h.o.

    I expect that the prizes will even go lower in the future and that these kind of data / calling bundles will be globally integrated.

    To bad England is leaving the EU, that's why I'm not sure this ruling will also count for England in two years time. Just like Switzerland which isn't member of the EU.

    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2017 ---

    Unless the UK and the EU can manage a EU deal that includes this ruling as well. Would be better both for the EU and England i.m.h.o. I still regret that England decided to leave the EU which is, again i.m.h.o. bad for both England and the EU. I believe more in working together rather then consolidating and trying to do everything as a single country in these globalising times....
    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2017 ---

    That would be wonderful.
  7. youdontsay macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    That's a truly great news, especially considering that here, in France, you can have unlimited call, sms, mms + 40Go of data for 10€ (11,2USD). That means that I can use my 40 Go when travelling across Europe. A move in the right direction!
  8. arturmeireles macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Im wondering if this free EU roaming is also fro mobile broadband for tablets.
  9. DanielDD macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2013
    As a person who lives 5 minutes away from the border, this is a godsend.
  10. cicalinarrot macrumors regular


    Apr 28, 2015
    I'm italian. We recently got a sort of gay-marriage law only after years of pressure from the EU, treating us like stupid kids... because we actually are stupid kids who need help.
    It's full of decent laws, from phone companies regulation to civil rights, we can enjoy becuse the EU. And most italians are mad at the EU because they don't allow us to let immigrants die in the mediterranean sea. I don't know if I want to live here.
    (Sorry for the long, not-so-related post).
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Of course it would be weird if I had to pay roaming charges between different states.
  12. MrChurchyard macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
  13. Radeon85 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2012
    South Wales, UK
    In this day and age this should be applicable to countries all over the world.

    Roaming charges are a big scam and an easy way to make extra money.
  14. fvbj macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    No it dosen't. You can only use the amount of data that your contract is 'worth', and the EU stated that 1 GB of data is worth approximately 7 euro

    - Which means you can use around 1,5 GB of data without extra cost.
  15. Basic75, Jun 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

    Basic75 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2011
    Nice, now when will Europe be a single zone for Netflix and similar?
  16. Chortos-2, Jun 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

    Chortos-2 macrumors newbie


    Sep 28, 2008
    Rīga, Latvia
    If only. I have to pay about 3.5 times as much (or more, depending on how much I talk) now if I want any sort of roaming, and if I keep my existing tariff, I lose my roaming ability and still pay extra (apparently it’s too cheap for the operator anyway)! Thank you so much for this.

    (Some details: I talk, text and browse rarely. I used to pay below €5 a month, including a fixed monthly charge and usage-based fees. Some of my family members who use their phone even less were paying below €3 a month. The cheapest offering including roaming from my current operator is now almost €13 a month. There are some better offers from the competition, but they’re all more expensive than what I had until now.)
  17. MrChurchyard macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    Kinda, but the EU is not a federal state like the US (although it arguably is closer to federal states than pure intergovernmental and supranational organizations these days).
  18. recoil80 macrumors 68020

    Jul 16, 2014
    Well I'm not sure about that.
    The EU allows a "data cap" to limit the amount of GB you can use while roaming. So it depends on your mobile operator.
    I have Vodafone, while there isn't a specific amount of GB you can use abroad they say no more than 50% of data can be used while roaming. They talk about a 4 months monitoring, so if I use all my GB during a vacation is ok, but I cannot live in another EU state and continue to use all of my GB for months.
    Your mobile operator could have a similar limitation or enforce the data cap.
    If not I'll come to France, buy a prepaid sim and enjoy the 40GB of data in Italy but I doubt I'll be able to do that. All the people living next to the border would immediately change mobile operator
  19. MLVC macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2015
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
    That’s not true, you can use the entire data your contract allows you to, in this case 40GB.
  20. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Unfortuantely, that is not true. Many companies have already raised prices, or added an extra fee on top when roaming EU. Granted, the prices are much lower now, when going abroad, so for most people that travel just a few times a year, its already a good gain. And the increases are somewhat small, but still, they are there.

    It is worth checking your plan now though, and see if cheaper options are available.
  21. Basic75 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2011
    To be fair, roaming does incur extra costs and the consumer who uses a service that costs more to provide should pay for those costs. The scam is in the exaggerated prices that consumers had to pay until recently.

    Edit: Now prices will go up and everybody will have to pay more, regardless of whether they use this extra service or not. Which is probably why the politicians agreed on this one, they get everybody to subsidise their higher-than-average roaming consumption, these politicians travel a lot.
  22. meaning-matters macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2013
    Data roaming is not unlimited and differs per operator.
  23. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Fine example of why sector regulations are necessary. I know this must hurt the eyes of many Americans, but it's the truth. For many years, the EU telecom sector charged ridiculous fees when using mobile phones abroad. And I mean ridiculous: calling: 3-5 euro/minute - SMS: 1-3 euro/message - data: 1-10 euro/MB.... Mind you: some EU-countries are very small, so you're easily subjected to these fees. Not to mention those that live near a border and automatically connect to the foreign tower without realising.

    For years the telecom sector lobbied its pants off to avoid these regulations, but they're finally here. Thanks to the EU.
    Small government is not always what it's cracked up to be. And the free market will NOT always do the right thing out of the goodness of their hearts. They do need a push in the right direction.

    And it's funny how they now spin this story to their customers: "The end of roaming charges is finally here!"
    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2017 ---
    Don't feel too bad for the EU telecom sector. They're doing really well given their ridiculous fees. And as an EU citizen I'm very happy with this new regulation. Not only politicians travel, maybe you should give it a go as well. You might like it.
  24. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
    Time for India. It doesn't even have a country, it's a country itself.
  25. Basic75 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2011
    What makes you think I don't?

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