Lower roaming costs
2012, a new roaming regulation became active in the European Union, which plans to gradually reduce costs of telephone and internet services abroad. Due to the regulation the prices were adjusted annually on the 1st of July.
Long-term goal of the EU is to abolish roaming completely until 2015. Under the motto of a "connected continent" this is part of the “Digital agenda” of the Union.
Details of the regulation
The terms apply to all 28 EU Member States and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
- Roaming providers need to supply a "Euro-Tariff" and to implement it automatically to their customers as long as they didn’t choose another provider (see details below).
- Customers need to be informed via cost-free message about roaming charges when arriving in a foreign country. The message needs to contain a telephone number for eventual queries, which has to be free of charge. Voice messages have to be provided to blind or visually handicapped people.
- Data roaming: The customer needs to be comprehensively informed about the possibility of uncontrolled data connections, about his consumption and accruing costs.
Find the whole text of the regulation here: Regulation (EU) Nr. 531/2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union.
Amendments in July 2014
The Euro-Tariff will be adjusted on July 1st as follows:
- active phone calls: max. 0,228 Euro (incl. VAT)
- passive phone calls: max. 0,06 Euro (incl. VAT)
- SMS: max. 0,072 Euro (incl. VAT) per SMS, receiving SMS is free of charge
- Data roaming: max. 0,24 Euro (incl. VAT) per megabyte
The Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) provides very detailed information about roaming in the EU on its website – how phone calls have to be charged by the providers, detailed price adjustments of the past years etc. Find the article here.
Another amendment is that providers, from July 1st 2014 on, have to offer their roaming services separately to their domestic services. Customers are therefore enabled to choose a beneficial combination of products offered by domestic as well as foreign providers at their holiday destination. A change of the SIM-card won’t be necessary. Providers have to inform their clients about this new possibility as soon as it’s available.