It’s been more than six months since the EU roaming charges were abolished, but there still seems to be a lot of confusion over how the new charges work. ‘No roaming charges’ sounds like you can call anyone, anywhere and not be charged, but that isn’t quite the case.
We’ve had clients move to Spain and keep their number’s from their home country – and then be hit by extremely high charges. Here’s how the new roaming rules work, and why you can’t keep your home number indefinitely if you move abroad.
The New EU Roaming Rules
Whenever you are travelling within the EU zone, your data is charged as though you are in your number’s home country. You will also be charged as if you are calling or texting a number in your number’s home country. Your charges are equal to whatever tariffs, packages, or allowances you pay for at home – regardless of which EU country you call.
However, if you are at home, calls to another EU country don’t count as ‘roaming’ so you’ll be charged whatever international fees are agreed in your contract or tariff.
- You have a Spanish SIM card. You are in Spain, so you are not ‘roaming’. You call a British number. You are charged for an international call.
- You have a Spanish SIM card. You are in another EU country, so you are ‘roaming’. You call British, French, German etc. numbers. You are charged as though you are at home, calling a local number.
- You have a Spanish SIM card. You are in another EU country, so you are ‘roaming.‘ You call a Spanish number. You are charged as though you are at home, calling a local number.
‘Fair Use’ Policies
If you spend a long time abroad, then your mobile service provider will fairly assume that you are not ‘roaming’ but are actually a resident there. Your tariff may change to reflect this and you’ll receive roaming charges again. Check with your mobile provider if you’re planning on spending a significant time abroad (a few months or more.)
For this reason, if you move to Spain, you can’t keep using your number from home for long because you’ll incur extra charges, which can be quite big. If you spend large chunks of time in Spain, you may find it cheaper to invest in a Spanish pay-as-you-go mobile number or even a contract if you are a permanent resident. Some tariffs, such as those offered by Telitec, can include international minutes, making it easy to keep in touch with friends and family abroad.
Excess Charges Warning
If you exceed your minutes, data, texts or credit while roaming, then you will be charged as you normally would for going over your limit at home. This is good news as you will no longer rack up roaming charges. However you should still be careful, especially with your data. If you are away from home you are less likely to be on Wi-Fi while travelling, and so are more likely to use additional data.
The UK Prime Minister has indicated recently (March 2018) that Britain will also exit the Digital Single Market, which is the reason that roaming charges were abolished in the first place. This means that, upon completion of Brexit, the rules are likely to change again when using UK mobiles abroad. However, we don’t know exactly what the consequences will be – yet.
If you’d like to find out more about Telitec’s monthly packages and/or contracts, then get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 965 74 34 73 / 902 88 90 70.