Business travel is a pain. You have to check that your passport is still valid, confirm that all necessary vaccinations have been taken, and most importantly of all: how to get a local SIM card to avoid exorbitant roaming costs.
Since June 15, business traveller’s life got a whole lot easier. No matter where in the EU region your travels take you, the price for calls, SMS messages, and data roaming will be the same as at home.
The new regulation is affectively called “Roam Like at Home”. And in this case, it really does what it says on the tin. To quote European Commission’s take on the subject: “Your communications (phone calls, SMS, data) made from another EU country will be covered in your national bundle.”
Operators have traditionally offered usage caps to make it easier to avoid astronomical roaming bills, but now there is even less reason for concern.
There’s no need to worry about paying extra for receiving important calls or sending messages. Need to use navigation to find a restaurant? Just use mobile data as you would at home. All is included.
Of course, there are some points to take into consideration. The fair use policy, for example, caps the data use abroad for unlimited domestic data plans. However, this is usually enough to cover normal data usage while traveling.
And if you happen to exceed the limit, the extra charge will be very reasonable. The maximum surcharge will be 7.70 euros per gigabyte, dropping to 2.50 euros by the year 2022.
“DNA, among other Northern European operators, do expect quite big increases in data consumption as the prices go down 90 percent or even more. To support this, big changes have been made also on the network side during the spring”, says DNA’s Head of Roaming Kimmo Martikka.
You also need to understand that roaming means using your phone in another country where you live. This is determined by checking that during the last four months you have been staying more at your home country than abroad – or used your phone more while at home. If you were to move permanently, you’d need to buy a mobile subscription from your new home country.
The icing on the cake: you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the Roam Like at Home regulation. No activations or changing of settings. Your mobile operator will take care of this for you, so just go and roam to your heart’s content!
Roam Like at Home in a nutshell:
- Effective from June 15 onwards in all EU countries
- No additional roaming charges for normal usage of calls, SMS or data when abroad
- Your operator applies fair use policy for unlimited or very cheap domestic data plans
- You should stay or use your phone more at home than abroad in a four months’ period
- No need to change settings, everything is automatic
- For detailed information, there’s an excellent FAQ on the subject