EU Roam Like At Home - the verdict is here

(I post this here since I was engaged in a heated discussion around a breakfast-table at the Berlin Xojo Conference earlier this month. €1 = $1.11 BTW)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions as someone so cleverly put it… EU left a hole in the “Roam Like at Home” (RLAH) legislation that allows carriers to make changes to the agreements with their customers. The hole is that the new rules only apply to plans that are currently available for sale by the carrier and that the carrier can also completely cancel data abroad on other plans according to the information I have found.

For about two years we have enjoyed reduced roaming fees - something that I personally found reasonable, when in a different country, why should the charges be the same as home?!? For example with my carrier Telenor I have paid €8/day (or €32 for 7 days) to get free calls and 500MB/day of data when I am outside Sweden. Going back 7 or 8 years, charges would have been €3/MB for data and €2/min for calls.

So, I just got information about the changes my two carriers (3 and Telenor) are implementing starting June 15.

Telenor has made several changes to their plans lately (making it completely impossible to select one, introduced a significant price hike and re-introduced the 24 month lock-in unless you want to pay €25/month extra). I have an old plan that Telenor is now changing so starting June 15 I have to pay €12/month extra to enable data abroad. This is every single month - not just the days/weeks I am outside of Sweden.

My current plan for my iPad with 3 (30 GB/mon of data at €29/month and €8/day abroad) is no longer for sale. For my current plan 3 has chose to completely shut off data abroad. The current plans are about double that price to get the same amount of data (€49 for 30 GB/mon).


The UK operators seem to have embraced the idea:
EE and O2

As you can see from the articles some plans, like EE’s 4G Max, also include the Anglosphere (USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).

Compare this to Credit Cards (ATM):

Before: we can get money from any ATM…

Now: you still can, but this is free for the first operations… (Say 4 or 5 times a month, up this number, you have to py your Bank for each ATM withdrawal).

This is for France, I do not know for other countries.

Note: one ATM withdrawal in Germany is not billed (anymore).

In Sweden withdrawals from debit cards are free but for credit cards they charge a fee, reasonable I would say.

If I am not mistaken, roaming charges within the EU will disappear at one point.

Which would be only logical. In the US, roaming charges have all but disappeared with major operators, so you can go coast to coast without ever worrying about roaming charges.

Unless you go to another country. Even if you just go to Mexico or Canada, the fees for calling and data go up ten-fold.

EU is 28 independent countries with many different carriers. When you leave your home carrier’s network you are roaming.

That makes sense, but in the EU, there should not be roaming between member states. Of course, if one is going to Serbia, or other non EU state, roaming makes sense.

In France, we are lucky because the latest operator, Free, has been practicing a very aggressive prices policy. For €19.95, we get unlimited talk, 4G, 5 Gigs gata, and 30 minutes free roaming from most areas on the planet, including the US, China, Africa…

All other operators are up in arms :wink:

Exactly the discussion we had in Berlin :slight_smile: My stance is still “why should they not have roaming?”.
There are zillions of different laws in all the different countries (speed-limits, DUI, taxes, VAT, visitor tax (like Berlin) ) just to name a few). In the US each state and county may have different rules for all this but it is still the same AT&T operating coast-to-coast. This is not true in EU for many carriers, even if they share the same name.

Is the same hotel rates across all of EU the next thing they should enforce? Why should a Etap room in Sweden be double the price than in Lübeck?

I know the EU commission is very instrumental in having roaming charges lifted.

June 2017 will see the lifting of these charges by law.

This varies depending on the carrier. T-Mobile provides unlimited calls, texts and data between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. While traveling outside of those three countries, they provide unlimited texts and throttled data in many other countries. If less than 2GB of data is used in a billing period, $10 is credited. For two lines we pay just $80 ($100 - $10 - $10 = $80) per month including all taxes, fees, etc. Many pilots and flight attendants prefer T-Mobile so they can be in touch from just about anywhere on the planet at an affordable cost. For those in the U.S., consider switching to T-Mobile. We did and are satisfied with their service, especially for the low monthly cost.

Mobile fees in Canada are very high when compared to similar services elsewhere in the world. Not necessarily the highest, but very high. We have the best maple syrup, but then again high mobile fees. Can’t win on all fronts, can we. :wink: