Mobile phone abroad: EU Council extends roaming regulation – avoid cost traps

If you use your mobile phone to surf the web, make calls or send text messages in other EU countries, you can continue to do so at no additional cost. But there are cost traps lurking.

The EU Council has agreed to extend the roaming-at-home rate regime until 2032. In other words: EU citizens will still not have to pay any additional roaming charges for mobile internet use or for telephony or for sending text messages within the EU countries until 2032. The previous roaming regulation ends on June 30, 2022.

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So if you use a German mobile phone contract to make calls or surf the web in Italy or Spain, for example, you don’t have to pay extra. Both the telephony and the internet use take place within the framework of the mobile phone contract valid for Germany. So if you have a flat rate for telephony and data use in Germany, this also applies to other EU countries. This is particularly important for the next holiday, but also for business trips.

Caution in non-EU countries

But that also means: be careful when going on holiday to non-EU countries. So, before you leave Germany, check your mobile phone contract to see what the conditions for telephony and data usage are like in Switzerland, Turkey or Great Britain. Under certain circumstances, you may face enormous additional costs if you use your mobile phone to make calls or surf the web or send text messages when you have left the EU area.

Further instructions

This addition to the EU regulation is also interesting: “The revised regulation also provides for measures to ensure a good customer experience in terms of service quality and access to emergency services, including for people with special needs.” It is not possible to say whether and how this will affect the mobile phone quality. Especially since most mobile networks outside of Germany are likely to be better developed than in Germany anyway.

Applies to “reasonable use” only

The regulation on reasonable use still applies. In other words, power users should be careful with their mobile phone contract abroad, not that they overdo it and the mobile phone operator throttles the connection.

The European Parliament had already approved the extension of the existing roaming regulation until 2032. The new (same old) regulation will come into force on July 1, 2022.

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