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back to article Mobile roaming in Europe: Have your say

The European Union is launching a public consultation on European roaming regulations. The British government infamously tried to stop the EU putting a cap on roaming prices which came into force in June last year. These introduced caps of €0.49 per minute for making calls and €0.24 cents per minute for receiving calls within …

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Ash

Cap or not...

I'm getting everyone I want to call onto Skype or Truphone. I won't pay a penny for any calls or messages soon; I already use email instead of MMS (Data: £1 / MB. MMS: 25p / 100kB)

[plug]God bless Nokia, and their amazing E51![/plug]

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@Ash

If you don't have a Wifi phone || you buy operator data in bulk, £7.50 extra from :

O2 get s you an "unlimited" up to 200Mb per month (Ha ha ha ha.... etc)

T-Mobile gives 1Gb (Still "unlimited" but only Ha ha).

Well cheap compared to S/MMS.

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Unhappy

Welcome to T-Mobile France!

Nice to get this message while I was on the beach in Dover!

Turned off the evil device, waited until I was clearly back in the UK before I tried it again.

Jolyon

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Happy

Yeah, and it's only a fiver from

3! And they give you Skype built in!

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Anonymous Coward

@Ash

I've got plenty of free minutes and S/MMS with my reasonably cheap package. I have a friend who's tried the same thing with me - to get me to use Truphone and e-mail on my phone. £7.50 a month extra is quite a lot for me, and I refuse to pay extra for something that will then take up my allowance for when I receive things - particularly if I start receiving spam in my e-mail! Who pays to receive phone calls these days? Why should I? I just don't understand this whole voip on phones and how it's cheaper.

Also, could we please introduce this cap for calling foreign mobile phones in other countries, it's cheaper to video call my partner than voice call her, which is ridiculous.

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@all

...or, just use your company crackberry. Not monitored at all...

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Paris Hilton

@Jolyon Ralph

We don't *have* T-Mobile in France (execpt a bunch of doped cyclists during the Tour de France)...

Orange (France Telecom), SFR (vodafone) and Bouygues Télécom are the 3 carriers with a couple of MVNO's (Virgin, a couple of football clubs and radio stations and universal music). There may be a fourth soon, with the internet operator Free negociating with the government for a cheap 3G licence (compared to the billions of euros paied by the current 3 mobile carriers).

PH as she knows as much about "health medication" as T-Mobile's cyclists...

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load of tosh

If they have done so well, how come my roaming cost me 174 quid* in ten days last Christmas? Cos the networks just move the profits. Like now europe has no "exchange rates" (The fab Euro, y'see?) so the card firms and banks just charge "interbank costs". As usual, the EU know sweet phi alpha about how these things work.

(*MY wifi phone is brill - except it doesn't work if there isn't a signal to surf - where I was when I got the business stuff to deal with.)

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Wifi phone is nice but hardly the answer..

WiFi / Skype / VoIP is great when you can egt an active internet connection you're able to connect to, but in the months i spent in europe last year that's not a regular thing, so mostly even if you have a WiFi enabled phone you'll still have to go through the operator most of the time to make calls.

Some people are confusing what roaming is, roaming is calling from abroad, not calling abroad.

Data rates are damn crazy, 7-9 pounds/MB at the moment on roaming, no 'unlimited' plans etc. I know someone who was recently using their phone overseas, used their browser at times but not heaps and got stung for over 250 pounds worth of data charges in a single months bill! Can't tell me that's even close to reasonable. O2 charge 35ppm to make and 18ppm to receive calls from Western Europe, but even thats unreasonable, i'm sure it doesn't cost them anything close to that!

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Expensive....and doesn't even work properly!

I was on a stag do in Vegas a few weeks ago and suddenly my phone stopped sending texts. I did the usual "reboots" as it was a new phone but it made no difference. A friend also said he had the same problem so I phoned Orange. They said that there was a problem with International Text messaging, they don't know what the problem is but are looking into it as a matter of urgency. Four days later, it started working again! It amazes me how they charge so much for a system with no redundancy/failover/disaster recovery!

Of course, not being able to text my missus on a stag do may have been a blessing in disguise.....because of the time difference of course! ;-)

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Flame

what about networks that appear in multiple countries..

my thought is that if your operator is in the country that you use at home, there should be minimal roaming charges, as you're still using their network.. Orange, Voda, Telefonica (o2), T-Mobile, etc are over many places in Europe, and especially data / in country calls, could easily be bundled..

Just my thoughts

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Bronze badge

Charges!

I still don't understand why they're allowed to charge extra at all. Having worked with several mobile firms over the years there's no excuse for anything other than a minimal charge, if that. So, well done EU for having done something, but let's got a bit further.

@Beachhutman, if you're talking about taking Euros out of a cash machine, you seem to be several years out of date. I haven't been charged for that since a year after the Euro was created. In fact I understood that banks weren't allowed to charge for that.

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Data rates

The move to reduce voice call rates was great. However, we need to start seeing some serious reductions in EU roaming rates for 3G data. Some of the charges applied are insane and completely unjustifiable.

It's quite damaging to EU business if an EU business person who is travelling around Europe is paying vastly over the odds for data whilst roaming, often tens of times more than a US business person using similar services while roaming within the USA.

In a lot of cases I know people who received enormous roaming bills for their blackberry and as a result no longer use it while abroad. That can't be good for business.

It's also a bit like the WAP charges that were in place when mobile data first launched. These were so ridiculously high that it put people off using mobile data for years and retarded the whole market. It was only when sensible data packages arrived in the last couple of years that mobile data took off.

From what I can see mobile operators are just gouging customers and ripping them off when they step outside their own home market.

@Beachhutman : There are no interbank charges for using your debit card, credit card or making interbank transfers *within* the Eurozone. However, if you use a UK card to withdraw cash / pay for something in the Eurozone charges still apply as you're converting currency. So, for example an Irish card used in France or Germany operates just like it does at home. But, a UK card may incur charges as it's converting back to UK£.

The ECB (European Central Bank) outlawed such charges a few years ago and are in the process of creating the SEPA (Single European Payment Area) to remove any technical barriers that exist. Most of these are already ironed out.

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Anonymous Coward

Roaming cherges in Europe

I am highly incensed that I am forced to pay double or more if I receive a call when I am overseas. I pay through the nose, a painful process anyway, and am then expected to pay extra. Often these calls are from marketing companies or are misguided attempts, misdialled attempts or other essays to reach me. Can the European authoroties do nothing to ease this problem? After all, they seem to regulate loads of other things which are, technically, outside their remit. "Extractuim Digitis" Europe and address those problems which are necessary and affect us all.

FRANCIS.

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@ Mark Milaszkiewicz

For the countries where it has its own network, Three UK is the ideal data roaming solution. £50 for its HSDPA USB Modem on PAYG. £10 gets you 1GB of data with 3/7GB available at £15/£25. Speed upto 2.8Mbps. The data bundle is valid for 30 days so it's use it or lose it. BUT - you can also use it at no extra cost when roaming in their foreign destinations too (Ireland, Austria, Italy and Hong Kong for PAYG, and the list is longer for contract SIM's).

So for a tenner you get a generous data allowance & enough time in which to use it, with no monthly commitment and a USB modem that "just works" under XP/Vista.

The final bonus? It's a killer backup for your home broadband too. Next time you change provider or the ISP has a major outage ... dig out the sleek wee credit card sized modem, pop it into a USB port on any PC, pay Three a tenner, and you have instant broadband until things are sorted.

I'm just back from using this solution in Italy for the 1st time ... felt great sitting on the terrace, looking at the view while d/l'ing music to listen to off P2P and planning my day trips on the web ... all for £15, and back home now with 2GB spare to use on the Lappy in the UK over the next 3 weeks. I "won't leave home without it" in future, as they say.

One thing to ensure though is to set the connection to 3G only when abroad - to avoid roaming onto a 3rd party GPRS network when out of coverage on Three's own network ... otherwise the out of bundle charge is £3/MB for PAYG!

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Paris Hilton

Revolt - Someone should make a roaming wiki

Data roaming charges are broken beyond repair, and if I have to make any extended stays in EU countries, I try to buy a prepaid SIM and use HSDPA / GPRS and make my calls using SIP or Skype.

For Instance, in Italy you can get a TIM SIM for 10 EUR - charge it to 30 EUR, and then activate "Maxi Alice 100" this gives you 100 hours of full Internet access anywhere in Italy ( apn: ibox.tim.it )

In Sweden you can get a Telia SIM, charge it, and Internet traffic is capped at 69 SEK a day. However you must first register the SIM to a Swedish address. Ask the dealer to help you out, customer service is expensive and confusing

The trouble is that researching all the loops you have to jump through is time consuming, and should not have to be repeated over and over again by anyone wishing to roam cheaply. This information should be in a wiki somewhere.

Paris, well since she seems rather cheap

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Pirate

Mobile phone firms overcharge by £1bn a year

This is why software call back systems are being utilised. Ok not as quick, but halving your costs has got to be a good think. The Euro tariff was great in capping the calls around Europe, which up until then were ridiculous.

This is what they are now, but even that is high. 19ppm to answer the phone!!

Provider Making calls (ppm) Receiving calls (ppm)

3 25 10

Fresh 30 19

O2 35 18

Orange 38 19

Tesco 35 15

T-Mobile 38 19

Virgin 38 19

Vodafone 38 19

The GPRS issue is something else and I think the governing body dropped a trick by not enforcing changes there. £10 per MB...that is like printing money. Even blackberrys charge a min of £5 per usage activity in a day even it is only a tiny bit of data being sent....RIP off....

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Coat

Oh Dear.....

What everone (including the EU regulators, god bless em) seems to forget that mobile high speed data is a relatively new service. Add to that the fact that you are using the service "OUTSIDE" of your home network (oh, im sorry, i though I could use my HOME MOBILE NETWORK datacard on another network OUTSIDE OF MY HOME COUNTRY, why have i been billed a gazillion pounds for downloading 500 albums through bit-torrent, and streaming the latest tv to my laptop whilst sat on a beach in the south of france, ITS SO UNFAIR), then you will pay a premium. If you dont like the costs, just dont use it. This will cause a structured reduction in prices for High Speed Mobile Internet, which will allow the Mobile Networks time to recoup some of the investment, which they can then put into the next generation of technology giving an even faster mobile internet experience.

@ Lazee_Boy Hope you had fun in Italy, very wise to switch it to 3G only, but there are other 3G networks in Italy, other than 3's network which you may "accidentally" hop onto (Vodafone's Italian Network Omnitel is 3G HSDPA, and I think off the top of my head from my last trip there that WIND might be 3G as well......)

Its a service, you are using it, you know the price, get over it.

Mines the flame retardant one with the scorch marks on the sleeves

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