Finally, the dreams of every traveller have come true in terms of roaming for free. Since June 2017 roaming charges are officially cancelled. However, you will rarely get things for free completely. There are special rules and conditions for free roaming in Europe. Learn with us how to easily avoid any charges for example by getting European SIM card.
So to start with good news, the European Commission has successfully worked to remove roaming charges. Roaming charges have been gradually reduced starting from 2006. Since 15 June 2017, the charges belongs to the history. All EU travel lovers travelling to other European countries won’t have to face extra charges when making calls, texting or surfing the Internet using their home country’s SIM card. In case you are not sure yourself which are all 28 EU countries, make sure that the country you are going to is part of EU by clicking here .
However, there some countries and territories that are not automatically covered by the new rules yet. This includes Switzerland, Monaco, Andorra and several Eastern European nations as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Continue reading and you will get to know more about roaming in Europe and what this new EU roaming offers you. You will find out the main advantages and disadvantages so you know what it brings based on the most frequently asked questions. Just to be sure you get off on a right foot in the new country, we will offer some advice how to keep roaming charges to a minimum or even how to avoid them at all. It’s very easy and you will be worry free when it comes to your phone bill. This way you can fully enjoy discovering Europe’s finest places while staying in touch with your dearest friends and family.
Now, let’s make sure we all know what exactly roaming is. Simply said, roaming means using your mobile and internet services when you go outside of your mobile operator’s coverage area. In other words, you are roaming in the moment when your phone is detected to be on the overseas network.
Therefore, calls from home to another EU country are not roaming and are not regulated. For example, if a Spanish sim card holder calls from Spain to France, the holder will pay the international tariff. The cost of the international tariff, of course, depends on your mobile provider.
As for advantages of free roaming in Europe, one of the main benefits is that what you pay at home that is phone calls, SMS, data, then you will have the same services when roaming. So using your phone home or abroad will not make any difference. However, there are certain rules, which will be mentioned soon.
In addition, when you are roaming in the EU, it doesn’t matter which operator your friends are using as for calling or texting them you will be charged your normal domestic prices. Also for receiving a call when abroad in the country of EU, you pay nothing just like you were at home.
Another great piece of information is that you don’t need to set up anything. It is all automatic. Your operator will likely inform you about any changes. If not, initiate the contact with your mobile provider to have all necessary updates.
So if you want to use social media and let your followers know where you are and share the pictures or check your emails you can do so without paying any more than you would pay in your home country.
That’s fantastic news, right? Yes, it is, but now, here comes but. Free roaming comes with certain limitation too. No one likes to mention this sort of information, so we decided to do the search for you. This is where we move to disadvantages.
There are two conditions that guarantee fair use of roaming. The first include data roaming. You can make all the calls and send texts for your domestic prices, but data has special rules. Although these rules apply only in the case you have a high volume of roaming data at domestic rates. Again the best advice is to check with your network provider how much you would pay when roaming in Europe.
The second condition is focused on people who think of taking out a contract in a low-cost country and using it at home. To put in other words, if you use your phone more abroad than at home, your operator may start applying a small charge to your roaming consumption.
If you are abroad over the four months, the operator may contact you to clarify the situation within two weeks.
That is to say, if you decide to reside in another EU country, you will no longer be able to benefit from roaming like at home offers from your home country. Roam at home is not meant to be used for permanent roaming, only for occasional travel.
If you are asking the question how to keep roaming charges to a minimum or even how to avoid all the roaming charges at all when being for example on your study abroad, here are the best possible suggestions.
If you are asking the question how to keep roaming charges to a minimum or even how to avoid all the roaming charges at all when being for example on your study abroad, here are the best possible suggestions:
- In case you don’t come from Europe, the best piece of good advice is to consider buying a local SIM card and top up with pay-as-you-go credit. Just to remind you, for this purpose don’t forget to have your phone unlocked.
- Another thing that you can do is to check with your mobile provider if it offers a roaming add-on. You may pay a little bit extra for it, but it will provide you with an allowance of data, texts and minutes to use abroad.
- Use free WI-FI whenever you can – many places in every country e.g. hotels, coffee shops or McDonald's offer wireless connection free of charge. There are located at almost every corner of the street. However, sometimes it can be just for a limited period of time.
- Another suggestion is to put your phone on airplane mode as there are different ways you can be roaming with your phone wittingly or not.
You can check the best European providers in some of the individual countries in our upcoming post (#subscribe).
If you are in Madrid on your study abroad or work abroad experience, get your mobile plan with us!
If you are interested more in information how to get Spanish local number, check out this link here. It will lead you through local Spanish mobile providers and how to get SIM card or simply hire our service to have your SIM card ready for use immediately.
To summarize, even though roaming charges are successfully removed and you don’t need to worry about huge bills on your travels in Europe anymore, you should always stay in charge of your phone and be careful of hidden charges you may not know about. Your mobile provider is required to answer you any question you may have about roam like at home or any other related issues.
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Hopefully, this post will be useful!
By Iveta Mikulakova