What the new EU roaming rules actually mean for customers

Written by on June 5, 2017 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

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From 15th June 2017 hikes in call and data charges are being controlled whilst customers are roaming in any of the 28 EU member states. For most who travel periodically, returning frequently to their home country, making calls, texts and using data, they should not see a difference in charges on their bill. However, as you might expect, this is subject to some exceptions and exclusions, and particularly what type of customer you are in your home country – prepaid, or monthly.

The first thing you must consider is that roaming is exactly that, so if you are in your home country, and making calls to the other EU member states, you are not going to be covered by this regulation. In fact, you may be subject to very high call and text charges, such as £1 per minute to call EU countries from the UK, or 25p per text to another EU member state. Tools such as Skype or Toolani might help with provision of low cost intracommunity calls and texts. You may have thought that one way round this would be to buy another member state’s prepay sim, and then swop it over or use it in a second phone to make calls to a country you call frequently from your home country. However, this won’t be allowed, and there are measures in place to detect this.

Secondly, the small print will always include a fair use policy.

This fair use policy is particularly important for data charges. For those monthly customers who have an unlimited or open amount of data tariff, it will not mirror this when roaming. You will not be entitled to unlimited data whilst roaming. There are caps.

The caps and the way they work depends on what type of customer you are, prepaid or monthly. For prepaid customers, the roaming regulation works by looking at what credit you have left when you start to roam, then dividing it by the regulation amount of 7.7 euros per GB to arrive at how much data you are covered for. For monthly customers, it is better. You would take the monthly subscription fee for your tariff (including for calls and texts), double it, and then divide by the 7.7 euros per GB to arrive at the actual amount of data you have.

The data calculation

For monthly customers and data, the regulated amount is 7.7 euros per GB 2017 (6 euros 2018). For example if your retail monthly fee is 25 euros, then 25 / 7.7 euros = 3.24 GB x 2 = 6.5 GB

For prepaid customers, you take the remaining credit left at the point you start roaming and divide it by the regulated tariff of 7.7GB. If you assume a remaining credit of 10 euros / 7.7 = 1.29GB of data.

The bottom line is that unlimited data packages in your home country does not mean unlimited data when you roam.

See here for more information on EU roaming regulation.

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Linda French

About the Author

About the Author: Linda is an independent consultant, with 15 years experience in data privacy across the EU. Linda is an advocate for data privacy, with most of her experience in telecommunications and technology. Linda worked with Convergys as their Regulatory Affairs Consultant for over 10 years, responsible for the regulatory roadmap across Europe. Linda’s latests engagement have been with UL EHS Sustainability, and Asiainfo. The last 3 years have been spent with analysing the impact of the GDPR, and getting businesses ready for this new law. Linda, has a keen interest in international politics. .

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