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UK European Consumer Centre

Mobile Roaming in Europe

Own a mobile phone?  Going away on holiday or business in Europe?  Do you know what your mobile phone provider will charge you for using your mobile phone while out of the UK? Calls made or received on a mobile after July 2014 have come down in price, following new EU rules. 

Own a mobile phone? Going away on holiday or business in Europe? Do you know what your mobile phone provider will charge you for using your mobile phone while out of the UK? Calls made or received on a mobile after 30 April 2016 have become cheaper, following new EU rules. 

To roam or not to roam? 

Thanks to the Roaming Regulations introduced by the European Commission, a limit has been placed on the amount you can be charged for using your mobile phone for voice calls in Europe.  This means it is now cheaper to call home when you're on holiday or away on business.    

Click here to find out what Roaming is 

Thanks to these rules the charges imposed by phone companies when travelling are on their way to being a thing of the past.

Travelling to another EU country with your phone is called roaming and at the moment there are charges for doing this. You may have noticed that in April 2016 there was a change to roaming charges when the European Commission set out a maximum amount that could be charged for using phone calls, texts and data when abroad.

 

This is all part of a plan to phase out all roaming charges by the 15 June 2017. As of the 30 April 2016 the cost to use your phone abroad is the same as at home but with a smaller extra fee as shown below: 

But there will be a new reality for all European travellers by June 2017. That's when 'Roam like at home' - where customers pay domestic prices, irrespective of where they are travelling in the EU - will happen. It means that any charges which make using your phone abroad more expensive than at home will be scrapped.

It is worth noting that this only applies when using your phone abroad temporarily. If you use a UK SIM in your phone and you live in Germany for example, the phone company can still charge you extra.

The other great news is that these limits are the maximum amounts that phone companies can charge so you may be able to shop around for a better deal which is good for competition and better for everyone. 

For more information on the EU rules on keeping the cost of your mobile phone costs down:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/roaming

Read more about roaming tariffs:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/node/90.