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Roam Like at Home rules entered into force on 15 June 2017. People pay domestic prices for phone-calls, SMS and mobile internet, irrespective of where they are travelling in the EU.
The EU has made conserted efforts to reduce roaming charges since 2006, culminating in the end of roaming charges in 2017. Read the background and step-by-step details on how the EU achieved the end of roaming charges.
Roam Like at Home in a nutshell
Phone calls, SMS and going online with your mobile device from another EU country are covered in the national bundle. The minutes of calls, SMS and megabytes of data that a person consumes abroad (within the EU) are charged the same as at home. People will no longer return home to extortionate phone bills while travelling within the EU.
If a person has unlimited calls and SMS, they will get unlimited calls and SMS when roaming in the EU. However if a person has unlimited mobile data or very cheap mobile data at home, his operator may apply a safeguard (fair use) limit on data use while roaming. If so, the operator will have to inform the customer in advance about such a limit and alert them when they reach this limit.
The EU rules ensure that such a roaming data limit should cover the normal usage patterns of most travellers. If a person reaches the limit, they can continue to use data roaming for a very small fee: up to 6€/GB + VAT, which is 8 times less than before 15 June 2017 and 33 times less than early 2016.
As long as a person travels periodically and spends more time in his home country than abroad over any 4-month period, they can fully benefit from Roam Like at Home. If a person gets charged extra, they should first contest those charges with their operator, who should have a complaints procedure in place. If the operator persists, the person should refer to the national telecoms regulator, who will settle the case.
If a person stays in another country within the EU longer than in their home country over a few months, the operator may contact them and ask them to pay more. More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
A very small number of operators in the EU have been allowed by the national telecoms regulator to continue applying a small roaming surcharge after 15 June, in order to avoid negative effects on very low domestic prices. Such surcharges will be significantly lower than the ones applied before 15 June 2017.
- Read more details from the press release and factsheets and access the Commission implementing regulation.
- Read the regulation on international roaming
- Refer to the rules on the application of fair use policy on roaming at domestic price, adopted by the European Commission on 15 December 2016, as mandated by the co-legislator in 2015.
- See the 2019 Staff Working Document on the review of the fair use policy.
- Eurobarometer surveys:
- The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Reports