MSE News: Mobile roaming - New plans to cut cost of using phones in Europe

"The European Commission is planning to further cut charges for using your mobile in other European countries..."
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Mobile roaming: New plans to cut cost of using phones in Europe

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  • NFH
    NFH Posts: 4,373 Forumite
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    The EU is suggesting that mobile networks form alliances (like airlines) and merge so that there are a handful of pan-European companies and/or alliances. It is ridiculous that a Vodafone UK customer has to pay more when using Vodafone's network in Spain. The same goes for O2 and Three, which both have networks in several other European countries. Orange and T-Mobile have even less of an excuse because, although they have merged within the UK, their separate parent companies France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have lots of networks all over Europe.

    One change I foresee is no longer having a choice of networks when in other EU countries. You will probably only be able to use your own network. For example in countries where Vodafone operates, Vodafone UK customers will only be able to use a Vodafone network. Lycamobile is already doing this with its Toggle Mobile brand. When you roam, you get a local IMSI and can only use Lycamobile's partner network in the visited country.
  • simax
    simax Posts: 1,957 Forumite
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    I get unlimited minutes and texts when roaming abroad in the EU, USA, Australia, China, Turkey, India, Israel etc on my plan so couldn't care less :)
    I spent 25 years in the mobile industry, from 1994 to 2019. Worked for indies as well as the big networks, in their stores also in contact centres. I also hold a degree in telecoms engineering so I like to think I know what I’m talking about 😂
  • NFH
    NFH Posts: 4,373 Forumite
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    simax wrote: »
    I get unlimited minutes and texts when roaming abroad in the EU, USA, Australia, China, Turkey, India, Israel etc on my plan so couldn't care less :)
    Does your UK monthly data allowance likewise apply in other countries? At least 90% of my usage abroad is data, not calls or SMS.
  • zerog
    zerog Posts: 2,478 Forumite
    Well if the EU wants to be a single country you should be able to use your phone all over it for the same rate.
  • NFH
    NFH Posts: 4,373 Forumite
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    edited 19 June 2013 at 4:29PM
    zerog wrote: »
    Well if the EU wants to be a single country you should be able to use your phone all over it for the same rate.
    It is supposed to be a single market, not a single country. A single market should not have inflated cross-border prices that are unrelated to cost.
  • bubieyehyeh
    bubieyehyeh Posts: 587 Forumite
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    I find it a bizarre querk that on a UK PAYG sim it is cheaper to send text messages to a UK number when you are roaming in Europe, than when your at home.
  • Roger1
    Roger1 Posts: 1,603 Forumite
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    Lower prices for 'international' texts than GB->GB texts just shows what a bunch of ripoff merchants the phone companies are.

    The wholesale price of texts is very low. Offering text services for a fee really is a licence to print money.
  • PegasusPJ
    PegasusPJ Posts: 50 Forumite
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    edited 26 June 2013 at 2:51PM
    I'm weary of "This means you would pay the same to make a call, send a text or use the mobile internet in France or Spain as you do in the UK."

    because when I'm overseas I almost only text or call within that country (or to people from 3rd countries), not back to the UK.. and so being charged UK price for those would be a LOT more expensive than the current roaming caps.. one of the reason why I think the Vodafone 'take your plan abroad' scheme is a rip-off and opted out (that and the fact you pay £3 even if you only send 1 text that day!).

    so unless it means you'd pay the same to call/text anyone with an EU number wherever you are in the EU (rather than always pay as if you were in the UK now), not sure at all it's a good thing (certainly isn't for me)
  • NFH
    NFH Posts: 4,373 Forumite
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    PegasusPJ wrote: »
    because when I'm overseas I almost only text or call within that country (or to people from 3rd countries), not back to the UK
    Me too, but a logical consequence is that calls will eventually cost the same to a mobile number anywhere in the EEA, regardless of whether you are on your home network or roaming. O2 Slovakia already charges the same price from its network to numbers anywhere in the EU.
  • If you use your mobile a lot abroad then flat rate European roaming already exists on contract. I have an EE roaming contract which means I pay £5 per month more than the normal tariff. They are priced by amount of UK data per month.
    For this £5 I am able to use my mobile anywhere in Europe (and USA) at the same rate as at home (not including data). This includes calling from one European/USA country to another, mobiles, text messages and incoming calls.
    The only thing that it doesn't include (rather strangely) is calling out to other countries FROM the UK! You can get an add-on for this which costs £6 for 100 minutes for Europe/50 minutes for USA or you can take the free add-on for roaming customers which reduces the cost by a good percentage (I forget exactly how much off the top of my head).
    As for Data, when you have a roaming contract, you get special price on this too :

    2Mb = £0.50 (24 hours)
    100Mb = £2.00 (24 hours)
    250Mb = £12.50 (7 days)
    1Gb = £25 (30 days)

    I was very wary when I first found this online, but after many phone calls to EE I was satisfied and signed the 24 month contract.

    I registered with the forum to post this which means, as a new user I can't post a link to EE's roaming costs, but they are on their website.
    Go to HELP - EE Roaming - +ROAMING COSTS - and then choose ROAMING COSTS Calls and texts or ROAMING COSTS Data FROM THIS MENU.
    Do not choose the +ROAMING DATA sub menu as this will give you prices without a roaming contract.

    Hope this has been helpful to someone!
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