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Intra-EU roaming charges for voice, text and data abolished from June 15th

I think it is important to post this information on this sub-forum as well

Roaming charges for use of an EU (+Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) phone subscription on any other country within the area will be abolished on June 15th 2017.

This means one single GSM card for your unblocked smartphone, with a decent amount of GB included on a prepaid plan, will be enough to cover your basic internet access needs throughout your trip, without the need to canvass open Wi-Fi networks.

Official source: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/telecoms-internet/mobile-roaming-costs/index_en.htm

Posted by
2518 posts

Curious how this affects tourist plans from Vodaphone and TIM in Italy. In the past, those cards worked only in Italy. Cross a frontier and there'd be no service. Will the tourist cards now include roaming?

Posted by
5436 posts

I was in Italy a couple of weeks ago and ruing that i was there about 6 weeks too early! i was still having to watch my data usage (as my French plan allows me 3 gigs elsewhere in Europe during the year). Now I'll be off scot-free!

Posted by
498 posts

Thanks for posting this! I am trying to figure out exactly what this means and does not mean...

Does this essentially mean that my wife and I (from the USA) can buy sim cards for our iPhones in Europe and use them from country to country, or...

Does it mean we can take our US iPhones with Verizon phone plans to europe and just use them without incurring additional roaming fees?

Thanks

Posted by
23587 posts

The former. Certainly not the latter.

Posted by
2819 posts

This mean telecom operators in EU (+3) cannot charge their registered phones roaming fees when they use their phones within EU (+3). It doesn't change what operators can charge for roaming for non-EU registered phones.

Posted by
498 posts

If we buy finnish SIM cards, put them into our US iPhones, we should be able to use them communicating with each other, and for data/ voice/ text, within EU according to whatever rules govern the original top-up package that comes with the SIM right?

Posted by
30971 posts

"It doesn't change what operators can charge for roaming for non-EU registered phones."

Hopefully North American mobile phone operators will use this opportunity to negotiate better roaming agreements. If they don't many of their customers will simply buy European SIM cards, and the N.A. firms won't be selling many of their lucrative travel roaming plans.

Posted by
1 posts

My take is not so optimistic as a lot of the other writers. Most people take packages when they buy SIMs, as the standard rates (with no package) add up to pretty huge amounts. My guess is that the packages don't include use outside the country of purchase, and roaming puts you on to the "standard" rate. An example is Lycamobile, where 1GB of data cost 120 pounds at their standard rate. Caveat emptor!

Posted by
2819 posts

Operators have an incentive to offer roaming, at least above the wholesale roaming fees (what one operator can charge the other for use of a 'visiting' GSM-card). These wholesale fees are capped by EU directive. Any charge above this cap will bring net positive revenue to the operator, so there is no reason for even smaller or virtual operators not to offer roaming as long as their regular charges are above the cap. The wholesale roaming fee cap for data from June 15th will be € 2.50/GB.

American operators likely can get good wholesale roaming fee agreements with European ones, and several operate under the same holding (Vodafone, T-Mobile...). Reason for high roaming fees charged to clients is that international roaming fees are highly lucrative for American (or Canadian, Mexican, Singaporean, South African...).