Mobile roaming: New laws to cut costs in Europe


Which? also noted that Vodafone is the only network to include Turkey in the roaming cull, with other networks charging between 69p and £1.65 a minute to call home.

But it doesn't work the other way around, with customers of Swiss operators still having to fork out high prices to get a deal including roaming for their handy/natel (as a mobile phone is known in Swiss German and French).

The EU "is about bringing people together and making their lives easier".

Over the ten year period that the European Commission has been bearing down on roaming charges, that risk has receded, and from today customers can call, text or download data on the same basis as they do at home.

The European Commission hailed the end of roaming charges as "a true European success story".

Nor should European carriers be seeking to put up their domestic tariffs on account of roaming fees going away - although we'll have to wait and see how that plays out. However if a person has unlimited mobile data or very cheap mobile data at home, his operator may apply a safeguard (fair use) limit on data use while roaming. Apparently, some of the mobile operators have already increased the plan prices.

"If you have free mobile surfing today, it doesn't necessarily mean the same applies in the rest of the EU".

You should continue to keep a close eye on your contract allowances and if you're on Pay As You Go it's worth making sure you're still topped up.

"Holidaymakers should inform themselves of which apps use the most data, connect to WiFi where possible and contact their operator to confirm their data roaming limit". In some countries, operators do not intend to control fair use in calls and text messages, but will in data traffic.

The soon-to-be outdated regulation, which in some cases left customers facing bills of hundreds of pounds, was described by the European Commission as a major "market failure".

The 28 European Union countries (at least currently) are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. You may also get charged extra if you are spending more time in an European Union country than the country where the SIM card was issued over a four month period.

They are contained within a European regulation, not a directive, so they have not been incorporated into United Kingdom law.

Good news if your plan on traveling in Europe over the summer as today as the day that European Union roaming fees have ended.