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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 current Roaming Regulation is in place until 30 June 2022. On 24 February 2021, the Commission proposed a new Roaming Regulation to extend the rules and introduce new ones to improve the Roam Like at Home experience, while ensuring that roaming without charges is sustainable for operators.
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.
A first full review of the Roam-like-at-home rules has been carried out by the Commission and published on 29 November 2019. Read more about the findings of the report.
The report shows that many citizens are enjoying roaming at no extra charge across the EU! To make sure we keep these benefits, the Commission is reviewing the regime to prolong it beyond that date. As part of that review it ran a public consultation from 19 June to 11 September 2020. Read the summary report of the consultation.
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 : reduced to reduced to 3€/GB + VAT in 2021 and to be further reduced to 2.5€/GB + VAT in 2022.
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 and decreasing 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 are significantly lower than the ones applied before 15 June 2017.
Relevant legal texts :
- Regulation on international roaming (531/2012).
- Commission implementing regulation, setting the rules on the application of faire use policy.
Commission reports :
- Report on the review of the roaming market (29 November 2019).
- Staff Working Document on the review of the fair use policy (26 June 2019).
- Report on the implementation of the roaming regulation (14 December 2018).
Eurobarometer surveys :
- 2017 Flash Eurobarometer Survey to measure the awareness and impact of the end of roaming charges within EU
- 2018 Eurobarometer Survey report on the end of roaming charges within EU
- The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Reports :
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report October 2019 - March 2020
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report April 2019 – September 2019
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report October 2018 – March 2019
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report April 2018 – September 2018
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report October 2017 – March 2018
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report, April 2017-September 2017
- BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report October 2016 – March 2017
BEREC Reports on Transparency and Comparability of International Roaming Tariffs :
- BEREC Transparency Report on 10/12/2020
- BEREC Transparency report on 5/12/2019
- BEREC Transparency report on 6/12/2018
- BEREC Transparency report on 7/12/2017
- BEREC Transpaerncy report on 25/11/2016