How The New EU Roaming Rules Will Affect You This Summer
July 13, 2017 (2 Comments) by Felipe Wasserstein

How The New EU Roaming Rules Will Affect You This Summer

Last month, the new EU rules of “Roam Like At Home” officially began. But are Irish citizens aware of this, and most importantly, do they know about the new rules?

Well, according to a research conducted by bonkers.ie, the answer is no. Approximately 61% of consumers are still unsure how the change will affect their data usage while traveling the EU this summer. Quite honestly, they can’t be blamed as the campaigns regarding this subject have led many people to believe they won’t have to pay for any fees.

This isn’t the case at all and we have all of the facts on why the change was brought about, how it will affect your data usage in the EU and what penalties you need to be aware of.

Why the Change in Roaming Law?

But what exactly is roaming? Roaming is when consumers are using their mobile devices on the network of another country. A common consequence of roaming abroad is a large phone bill. This due to the varying fees of each country, not quite the summer souvenir you will want after a relaxing European holiday.

The new law seeks to end those fees in the EU countries for calls and text messages. This means your Irish mobile will work on all EU states without the extra costs generated by fees.

That is definitely excellent news, but what the public campaigns fail to clarify is that you will be charged for cover data usage. This can be dangerous to consumers, since research from bonkers show that 70% of interview participants intend to use more data with the arrival of the new rules.

New Data Penalties

According to the new law, a penalty of €7.70 per GB is applied to users which have exceeded their data limit. The limit of how much data you can use before being charged by fees vary according to each operator. The penalty’s however, are expected to decrease from 2018 forward.

new-data-penalties

Three, for example, announced a limit of 5GB for EU roaming, while Virgin Media will offer a total of 5.5GB. This process can be tricky for Irish mobile operators. Vodafone Ireland won’t lose much with the changes, since they don’t generally offer a lot of data to consumers. On the other hand, Virgin Media and Three will likely have to limit their domestic package plans.

How Long Can You Roam For?

There are also time limits, in terms of how long you can use your mobile phone in another country. Companies such as Vodafone and Three deem usage which lasts for more than 2 months as an abusive periods. If you do happen to exceed those time limits, your mobile phone service can be suspended. It may be worth checking the fine print of your contact if your planning an extended EU summer break this year.

Another important issue, is that some non-EU countries that are in the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway) will soon be introducing Roam Like at Home. But there are many other countries that are not included in the new rules, such as Switzerland and Monaco. So far, mobile operators have no common agreement about using the new rules in such countries. There’s also the question of the UK maintaining the rules or dropping them when they leave the EU in 2019.

Consequences for Consumers

The good news is that for consumers who don’t make much use of data, the new rules will certainly benefit them. Five GB of data is quite a lot, and if you use your phone mainly to make calls and send messages, you have nothing to be worried about. For example, one GB of data is more or less the equivalent of watching an hour-long episode of a TV series on YouTube or Netflix.

the-consequences-for-consumers

But, if you into the category of consumers who use their phones to stream long videos or to download multiple high-resolution photos, it is worth getting a plan in place before traveling the EU this summer. Make sure you verify your EU roaming limits with your phone operator and use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Also, be aware of the data requirements for any apps you intend to install on your phone.

Though eliminating the barriers of roaming around the EU is a reason to celebrate, it remains to be seen whether the new measures will work as planned. Irish consumers should be optimistic but also cautious of the new rules.

Felipe Wasserstein
Writes about sports and lifestyle. Enjoys anything related to movies, video games and football. Also a massive Juventus supporter.

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How The New EU Roaming Rules Will Affect You This Summer
July 13, 2017 (2 Comments) by Felipe Wasserstein

How The New EU Roaming Rules Will Affect You This Summer

Last month, the new EU rules of “Roam Like At Home” officially began. But are Irish citizens aware of this, and most importantly, do they know about the new rules?

Well, according to a research conducted by bonkers.ie, the answer is no. Approximately 61% of consumers are still unsure how the change will affect their data usage while traveling the EU this summer. Quite honestly, they can’t be blamed as the campaigns regarding this subject have led many people to believe they won’t have to pay for any fees.

This isn’t the case at all and we have all of the facts on why the change was brought about, how it will affect your data usage in the EU and what penalties you need to be aware of.

Why the Change in Roaming Law?

But what exactly is roaming? Roaming is when consumers are using their mobile devices on the network of another country. A common consequence of roaming abroad is a large phone bill. This due to the varying fees of each country, not quite the summer souvenir you will want after a relaxing European holiday.

The new law seeks to end those fees in the EU countries for calls and text messages. This means your Irish mobile will work on all EU states without the extra costs generated by fees.

That is definitely excellent news, but what the public campaigns fail to clarify is that you will be charged for cover data usage. This can be dangerous to consumers, since research from bonkers show that 70% of interview participants intend to use more data with the arrival of the new rules.

New Data Penalties

According to the new law, a penalty of €7.70 per GB is applied to users which have exceeded their data limit. The limit of how much data you can use before being charged by fees vary according to each operator. The penalty’s however, are expected to decrease from 2018 forward.

new-data-penalties

Three, for example, announced a limit of 5GB for EU roaming, while Virgin Media will offer a total of 5.5GB. This process can be tricky for Irish mobile operators. Vodafone Ireland won’t lose much with the changes, since they don’t generally offer a lot of data to consumers. On the other hand, Virgin Media and Three will likely have to limit their domestic package plans.

How Long Can You Roam For?

There are also time limits, in terms of how long you can use your mobile phone in another country. Companies such as Vodafone and Three deem usage which lasts for more than 2 months as an abusive periods. If you do happen to exceed those time limits, your mobile phone service can be suspended. It may be worth checking the fine print of your contact if your planning an extended EU summer break this year.

Another important issue, is that some non-EU countries that are in the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway) will soon be introducing Roam Like at Home. But there are many other countries that are not included in the new rules, such as Switzerland and Monaco. So far, mobile operators have no common agreement about using the new rules in such countries. There’s also the question of the UK maintaining the rules or dropping them when they leave the EU in 2019.

Consequences for Consumers

The good news is that for consumers who don’t make much use of data, the new rules will certainly benefit them. Five GB of data is quite a lot, and if you use your phone mainly to make calls and send messages, you have nothing to be worried about. For example, one GB of data is more or less the equivalent of watching an hour-long episode of a TV series on YouTube or Netflix.

the-consequences-for-consumers

But, if you into the category of consumers who use their phones to stream long videos or to download multiple high-resolution photos, it is worth getting a plan in place before traveling the EU this summer. Make sure you verify your EU roaming limits with your phone operator and use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Also, be aware of the data requirements for any apps you intend to install on your phone.

Though eliminating the barriers of roaming around the EU is a reason to celebrate, it remains to be seen whether the new measures will work as planned. Irish consumers should be optimistic but also cautious of the new rules.

Felipe Wasserstein
Writes about sports and lifestyle. Enjoys anything related to movies, video games and football. Also a massive Juventus supporter.

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