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A guide to data roaming charges

A guide to data roaming charges

Since 15 June 2017, following a change in EU roaming rules, you can now look forward to ‘roaming like you’re at home’ while using your mobile phone in 47 destinations in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. In other words, you shouldn’t need to pay additional roaming charges any more.

Holly Niblett
From the Digital team
minute read
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Posted 26 NOVEMBER 2019

What is data roaming?

Data roaming is when your mobile phone uses data on a mobile network while you're in another country. Every time you connect to the internet, such as checking your email, updating Facebook or using Google Maps, you’re using data. 

What does ‘roam like at home’ mean?

According to the new rules, providers are now required to charge contract, SIM only and Pay As You Go (PAYG) customers the same price for calls, texts and data as you pay at home.

What about fair use policies for data roaming?

If a provider has a fair use policy, you may be charged more than your usual charge. To avoid this, make sure you know what ‘roaming product’ your provider offers before heading off abroad.

If your provider offers ‘roaming services’, they should automatically apply ‘roam like at home’ to your account. To check if this has been activated, simply get in touch with your network provider.

If you’re close to reaching your data limit, your provider must send a notification informing you of the additional costs that will be applied if you continue to use data services.

What if I’m travelling outside of the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein? 

Roaming charges can be much higher here, and you may want to talk to your provider to understand the best available deal for the country you're travelling to. 

Alternatively, it might be worth considering buying a SIM for the country you’re visiting.

The EU countries included are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

It also covers: Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Iceland, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mayotte, Norway, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino, Switzerland.

Your provider should send you a message notifying you of basic pricing information upon entry to another country.

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