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EU Roaming September 22, 2010

Posted by themobilephoneconnoisseur in Uncategorized.

Here is a valuable insight into the complicated situation of the EU Roaming regulation, valid since a few years.

Most people are aware of the fact that operators in the EU have a cap on how much they can charge an EU subscriber who is roaming within the EU.

But only some people know (probably by finding out the hard way, like myself) that local operators in Europe can have any price plan for outgoing international calls when not roaming, since competition is considered to be satisfactory here. This leads for example to £0.50-1.00 per minute for UK prepaid SIMs when calling from the UK to Germany. Because of the EU Roaming regulation, it can be cheaper to cross the border to make the same call to Germany!

But, did you know that there does not seem to be any limit on how much a non-EU call is allowed to cost when a EU subscriber is roaming within the EU? €2-3 per minute is not uncommon. Also, you should consider yourself lucky if you find this price on your mobile service provider’s price list, it is not obvious where to find it, as most often they only list making calls home and within the country you are visiting.

The other week, I was in Paris for just a few hours, and getting hold of a local SIM-card was not really an option. At the same time I desperately had to make a business call to Pakistan. Sitting on a train to the airport I simply had no way of using Skype or a VoIP service, so I had to use a regular phone for 20 minutes. Using my regular roaming phone would have cost me 20x€2, i.e. €40 for that single call. But by making an EU-call to an Operator One number, I got away with roughly €10, a 75% saving.

I do not regard a call to be cheap unless it comes down to around $0.10-0.20 or €0.10-0.20 per minute, so this was still massively too expensive, but it shows that there are special cases where you quite easily still can save a lot relatively. This also shows that international pricing from EU mobile operators still have a long way to go before we reach reasonable costs for a simple call.



1. pavel - December 26, 2010

The information was very useful. The blog was very nice and interesting.Thank you very much.

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