Know the Cost of Roaming
The roaming Regulation underwent a further review in 2011/2012, the amended roaming Regulation has been in place since 1 July 2012.
Main requirements of the roaming Regulation are set out below:
• Data Usage Alert - A consumer who data roams is automatically opted into a data cap/alert of €61.50 including VAT/unless they have requested not to receive the usage alert. A consumer will be advised when they reach 80% of the data usage cap and at 100 % of the data usage cap. The consumer can then decide to continue to data roam or not. The alert is provided to ensure that consumers do not incur high data roaming charges while travelling.
From 1 July 2012 if you travel outside the EU you should now also receive this data usage alert while travelling. If the operator is unable to send the alert due to the network provider in another country you should receive an SMS from the operator advising you that the operator cannot apply the data usage alert in that country.
EU Regulated rates from 1 July 2012
• Voice price cap - 35.67cent calls made / 9.84cent (including VAT) calls received
• SMS price cap - 11.07cent (including VAT)
• Data price cap - 86.10cent (including VAT)
Note: Some mobile operators provide alternative roaming plans/bundles when roaming in the EU or outside the EU that may be more beneficial to your particular requirements when roaming. If you have chosen an alternative package the “Eurotariff” rates will not apply.
• Transparency SMS - When you travel, either in the EU or outside the EU, you must receive an SMS from your mobile operator advising you of the costs of roaming. This message should include the cost of calls made and received, the cost of sending an SMS/MMS, the cost per Megabyte (MB) of data, details in relation to how to find out more information if required (freephone number) and, if in the EU, details of the European emergency number 112.
Data Roaming/Using the internet on your mobile phone/laptop when abroad
Irish consumers are using the internet more and more on their mobile phone, smartphone or laptop when they are abroad. Consumers should be aware that the costs of using the internet from their mobile phone/laptop when roaming can be very expensive. The majority of operators offer daily/monthly data roaming plans that may save you money when roaming. If you have not signed up for a particular package you will be charged a standard rate of 80.10cent per megabyte when data roaming in the EU.
Smartphones - if a consumer has a Smartphone, they should be aware that applications (Apps) may use data even when the consumer is not interacting with the application. Consumers should contact their mobile phone supplier to find out information on how to manage data on their handset (mobile phone), including;
• how to monitor data usage (on the handset)
• how to switch on and off data on their handset (also to enquire if data settings reset automatically)
• how to use WIFI connections.
The Roaming Regulation was proposed in 2006 by the European Commission following concerns expressed by National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) through the European Regulators Group (ERG) that the 2002 Regulatory Framework prevented regulators from adequately addressing the issue of high roaming charges. The Roaming Regulation came into effect on 29 June 2007 - (EC) No 717/2007. The Regulation placed a retail and wholesale price cap known as the “Eurotariff” on roaming calls while roaming in the European Union. It also placed a number of transparency measures helping to ensure that consumers are well informed in relation to roaming in the EU. In addition the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources made Regulations in 2007 designating ComReg as the National Regulatory authority for the purpose of the roaming Regulations.
In 2009 the roaming Regulation was amended in scope and duration following a review. The amended roaming Regulation - (EC) No 544 of 2009 included further reductions to the wholesale and retail “Eurotariff” (voice calls), the introduction of a wholesale and retail Euro SMS price cap, a wholesale data price cap and a number of new measures in relation to pricing transparency were introduced.
Note: prices displayed below exclude VAT at 23%