If you are going on holiday or working in another country, you might be worried about running up large mobile phone bills. But as of 15 June 2017, roaming charges have been abolished across EU member states.
EU roaming from 15 June 2017:
If you are travelling within EU member states, you will ‘roam like at home’ and pay the same prices for calls and texts as you would at home.
Calls and texts
If your mobile package includes unlimited calls and texts, you will also have unlimited calls and texts when roaming in the EU at no extra cost.
If your mobile package includes unlimited or a large amount of mobile data, it’s important to note that your mobile provider may apply a ‘fair usage’ cap on your use of this data while roaming in the EU. If so, your provider will have to tell you in advance about this limit and alert you if you reach it. You should check with your individual mobile provider to see if any data limit applies to your specific package.
More information can be found on the European Commission’s website.
When you are away
Once you switch on your phone abroad:
- Use Wi-Fi instead of data. It’s usually faster and is often free – Wi-Fi hotspots are frequently found in bars, hotels and cafes.
- Use Wi-Fi to make calls. Wi-Fi doesn’t just offer a cheap way of browsing the web; you can use it for calls too. If you’ve got a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, you can use an internet-based calling system and call for free.
- Avoid downloading films, TV shows or music when not using Wi-Fi, as this eats up a lot of mobile data.
- Data is not required for the GPS function on a smartphone. This means you can still use the maps app on your phone without using data, although you may not be able to use certain features without an internet connection, such as directions and navigation.
Using your phone on a plane or ferry
Depending on your airline, it may be possible to use your phone while in the air. Similarly, if you are on a cruise ship or ferry, you may be able to connect to the ship’s network.
You should note that this will usually cost more than your usual roaming tariff as both of these facilities require a satellite connection to give you a phone signal. Ask a crew member for full details before you start using your phone.