From June 15, 2017, in the EU, roaming will disappear, at least for those who travel ‘periodically’ in other EU countries: the new ‘Roam like at home’ regime, which the European institutions worked hard for it, wants to relaunch the EU, making it tangible on the lives of citizens.
In the past years, and still today, the companies practiced salaries to provide mobile telephony services abroad, especially for data traffic, so much that it was often cheaper to buy a SIM card of the country they were and use it for the duration of the holiday.
But from now on, at least in the EU, things will change: you will pay the same amount for telephone calls, SMS and data traffic, whether you are in your country or whether you are in another EU country.
Attention: ‘Roam like at home’ applies only to the countries of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (for these three the new rules will come into effect a little later). So you will need to ask your operator if, for example you are in Switzerland, Serbia or Turkey, what will happen.
The new rule only applies if you do not change your country of residence: for example you cannot migrate to Britain and use an Italian SIM. In this case, you will need to buy a British SIM and you will not pay roaming in other EU countries, unless, of course, Brexit will change the cards on the table.
The general rule, however, is that as long as one passes more time in his own country than abroad, or uses his mobile more at home than abroad, he can enjoy roaming at ‘domestic’ rates without extra charge.
If this is not the case, the mobile operator must contact the customer and ask to clarify the situation within 14 days. At that point, if the customer continues to use roaming more than at home, he will be charged (3.2 cents per minute for calls, 1 cents per SMS and 7.7 euros per gigabyte, plus VAT, from June 15, 2017: this roof gradually decreases to 2.5 euros per gigabyte till January 1, 2022).
If a customer has unlimited calls and SMS in his own country, they will also have them in other EU countries.
For data it is possible for operators to set a limit when abroad. Beyond that you may have to pay a surcharge, decreasing over time as in the previous case.