Blog/20170927 Roaming in Europe

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Roaming in Europe

Since the abolishment of European roaming charges I hadn't travelled in non-UK Europe. (Footnote: In about 2 years time, this would need to read "travelled to Europe").

Suppose you have a SIM with a flat rate for calls and SMS messages:

Call from UK SIM to UK number Call from UK SIM to German number
when located in the UK usual flat rate international rate (often high, 50p-£1.50)
when located in Germany EU roaming = flat rate flat rate (Virgin Mobile)

The first row is as expected, and nothing has changed. However, the 2nd row first has the use of a flat rate for call from UK SIM to a UK number, when located in Germany. That's the new EU regulation.

What was not quite clear from what I read on the internet (and which may be operator dependent) is the call from UK SIM to German number, when located in Germany. As far as I can see, that's not regulated by the EU roaming arrangements. Previously, regulations had capped all roaming calls, and so also this scenario. However, it does seem that many operators offer EU roaming for this scenario as well. I.e. if you have a flat rate, then the flat rate applies to this too. (But check with you operator.) The Wikipedia page on European Union roaming regulations has a table, that shows "outgoing calls to any EEA number", suggesting that roaming regulations apply to any EU call made while roaming, thus still limiting the cost for EU to EU calls while roaming.

Of course data is also included, and data worked for me no problem. (Of course you have to enable data roaming on your phone.)

As a German, I've had trips, shorter stays, and living in the UK for something like the last three decades. With the new roaming regulations, my life has become simpler. Thanks to the European Union.

2017-09-27 | Leave a comment | Back to blog Share on Twitter Share on Facebook