If you holiday abroad you will be looking forward to free mobile phone EU roaming. At last, from June 15, 2017, you can make calls and surf for the same price as you would at home. But beware! As mobile operators now have less money to go into the tills, you have to be careful when your mobile contract is up for renewal. Is EU roaming really included – or will there still be roaming charges?
In the future you will need to look closely at the small print of a mobile phone contract. The roaming charges are abolished, but mobile operators often change their strategy. Browsing with your mobile abroad is generally cheaper and easier, but new contracts can also limit surfing abroad. There is also a risk of higher fees for data usage. What do you have to consider when EU roaming and when choosing new mobile phone contracts? And also will Brexit ruin this hard fought battle? We will explain in our blog.
Roaming charges in the EU: What do you have to look out for?
You will definitely be taking your smartphones on holiday, right? And that is why you must pay particular attention to roaming charges within the EU. It is discussed in the MoneySavingExpert article that you still have to be careful. It is very important to check the details of your new contract properly.
EU roaming charges are dropped
Although the EU roaming charges are dropped by law, there are loopholes. After all, mobile telecom operators want to continue to make as much money as possible. Since they can no longer officially charge fees for surfing abroad, they will be looking for alternatives. One of these is called “fair-use policy” and describes an upper limit for data usage abroad. If you have a flat rate for mobile Internet with, for example, 3 GB, may not be the entire 3 GB abroad free of charge, but only a part of it. Be sure to check out the details of your mobile phone contract on your mobile provider’s website.
Roaming with data: More charges abroad
If you have used all of your allowance on your phone, you surf with less speed. For example, LTE becomes agonisingly slow when the 1 or 2 or 3 GB inclusive volume is used up. If you’re using Google Maps or watching a Youtube video, that’s quick. The mobile service providers have therefore introduced automatic data. When your data volume is full, you are still using Highspeed LTE. However, you pay for it in addition to your contract. Sometimes this feature is automatically activated. Then the Internet abroad suddenly becomes very expensive. Be particularly careful when surfing abroad with your mobile phone. Be careful not to exceed the contractual data volume. Better still: Disable this automatic feature.
Roaming charges for new mobile phone contracts
You should check your new mobile phone deal for EU roaming charges . Read through exactly when you have to pay for calling abroad and for surfing abroad. On the providers websites there are currently still options such as “Flat: EU Roaming”. Even if you click on the information on roaming charges with mobile operators, you will find various fee models. These may all only apply until 15 June 2017. For new contracts mobile operators can set limits for their use at certain tariffs. So if you are planning to surf on your holiday in the EU, choose a contract with data usage which also includes for abroad.
Will Brexit affect these changes?
According to The Guardian, Three has committed to keeping roaming free in Europe regardless of what happens in the Brexit negotiations – but other networks are more equivocal. Three told Guardian Money it remains “committed to eradicating excessive” roaming charges. It said: “We will retain this great customer benefit regardless of Brexit negotiations, allowing our customers to continue saving when they travel.”
O2 said it would be “engaging” with the government and Ofcom to discuss what would happen post-Brexit. The regulator said it would be a matter for the government of the day to decide.