Saturday, 21 October, 2017

EU Eradicates Mobile Roaming Charges

Under the new law over a million Irish phone users will only be entitled to a small percentage of their usual data allowance when travelling in the EU EU roaming charges are ending – here's everything you need to know
Carlton Santiago | 16 June, 2017, 03:40

This means that, if they notice that someone is using their SIM card mostly overseas and not in the country where the SIM card was bought, they may warn the user that they are about to start charging special charges for roaming because they suspect misuse.

These are the often astronomical extra charges added to the phone bills of holidaymakers for making calls, sending texts and using internet mobile data when in a foreign country.

"The new system is a win for consumers and will streamline their mobile phone use at home and overseas", he continued. The European Union rang in the end of cross-border roaming charges for mobile phone users in the 28-nation bloc today, hailing it as "one of (its) greatest and most tangible successes". Calls, data and texts are all free.

HEXUS has been sent communications by various United Kingdom mobile phone companies and MVNOs regarding the news.

At the time, they threatened to hike domestic prices to pay for travellers from northern Europe using their networks.

Note that the likes of Switzerland, Norway and parts of Eastern Europe are not included in the new rules, although individual mobile providers may include them - so check with your phone company. It has offered free roaming in Europe for years in an effort to lure people away from rival operators.

"Legally, there would be nothing to stop the networks reintroducing roaming fees once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union", the newspaper's Miles Brignell reports.

Since the first mobile phones came into circulation, network companies have charged extortionate prices on mobile roaming. It's understood that you must still follow reasonable and fair use policies though, so don't think you can just use more data on your hols than you do at home, for example.

Instances of so-called "bill shock", when mobile users return home to nasty bills for using their phone overseas, have spiralled in recent years, especially since the widespread uptake of smartphones and corresponding consumption of mobile data. 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. "Operators have had 2 years to prepare for the end of roaming charges, and we are confident that they will seize the opportunities the new rules bring to the benefit of their customers".

Once the user has surpassed this allowance, a charge of €9.50 per gigabyte of data will then apply.

"It is important that you take a close look at what is or isn't included in your current mobile deal", the organisation's Alex Neill warned.

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