EU Roaming

The new EU regulations


EU Roaming

At last! As from mid-June 2017 (15/06/2017) onwards you will be able to travel with your mobile device in the EU countries against the “Roam Like at Home” tariffs, subject to the fair usage policy stipulated by your current provider.

It’s a misconception that all roaming traffic will become free of charge; on the contrary: recent customer cases in the corporate market show that the changing EU ruling is not always beneficial from a financial point of view. We must conclude that the new rules and corresponding tariffs do not automatically lead to significant cost optimizations.


What’s the definition of roam like home?

To avoid some misunderstanding, we believe it’s useful to make a summary what will be included and excluded when it comes to the “Roam Like at Home” principle:


  • Calling from an EU country (outside your home country) towards a destination within the EU zone
  • Sending a text message from an EU country (outside your home country) towards a destination within the EU zone
  • Receiving a call within the EU zone
  • Mobile data consumption within the EU zone

Out of scope “Roam Like at Home”

  • International calls from your home country towards foreign numbers (also within the EU)
  • Sending a text message from your home country towards foreign numbers (also within the EU)
  • Calling, texting and data usage in the rest of the world
  • Calling and texting from the EU zone to the rest of the world



Recommended approach

  • Let your provider ‘inform’ you on how the new regulation will impact your mobile estate. By now, all mobile vendors have completed their homework and should be able to communicate towards their customers how this will affect your current tariffs as from June 15 onwards.
  • ‘Calculate’ the impact on your mobile invoice before accepting the proposed changes. Many aspects can either have a positive or even negative affect on your mobile expenses; hereby some examples taken from actual customer cases:
  • Do the monthly recurring fees of the roaming day passes or bundles change when traveling outside of Europe?
  • What will alter in terms of out of bundle tariffing for mobile data consumption (national/EU28 + all data traffic that remains outside of Europe)?
  • The current national tariff per MB will be applicable if no data bundle is active or when the current inclusive volume is exceeded when consuming data within the EU. This can lead to unpleasant surprises if the national rate is higher than the EU tariffing.
  • What happens with internal/fleet traffic within Europe?
  • Do all the EU bundles automatically disappear from the invoices after June 15?
  • What is the definition of the fair use policy and when will it be applied by your supplier?
  • Finally, we recommend to enclose the updated tariff plan as a separate amendment to the exiting contract.


Anyway, a lot of reasons to consult an independent party like Tam Tam Consulting to carry out a detailed calculation and validate the changes proposed by your provider.



The new EU regulations

How to prevail the new EU regulation is becoming your new EU nightmare?

  • Be informed about how your operator will fill in the regulation
  • Make sure you know the impact on your specific contract and usage
  • Be aware of new bundles and options which have been processed to ensure that this regulation should not be applied
  • Ensure that, where necessary, you add a new annex to your current contract which ensures that there can be no financial or operational disadvantage for your company
  • And last but not least; if you do not have the right knowledge, resources and/or time, Tam Tam Consulting would like to help you. For more information: info@tamtamconsulting.com or +32 14 70 10 70


Current status of the EU regulations

End of EU roaming charges: the final piece to make it happen

‘Roaming’ is a term referring to the ability for a customer to make or receive calls, send text messages or access mobile data services abroad with a Belgian mobile subscription. For several years the European Union is trying to reduce the costs for this traffic. A “last” important step seems to be taken to eliminate the difference between the national tariffs and the tariffs you pay in other European countries. On February 1, 2017 the European Union reached an agreement on how to regulate wholesale roaming markets (the tariffs that telecom operators pay each other for roaming services by their clients).


Wholesale rates

The agreement that now has been reached, concerns the rates that telecom operators can charge each other. For example, the rate Vodafone Netherland may charge at Proximus or Orange is they have a customer calling, sending text messages or using data in the Netherlands on the Vodafone network.

As from June 15, 2017 the maximum cost for data usage becomes 7,7 euro per gigabyte. In the years after this price should decrease further to a maximum of 2,5 euro per gigabyte by 2022. The telephony price drops this summer from 5 cents per minute tot 3,2 cents per minute. The price of an SMS drops from 2 cents to 1 cent. It was agreed that the ‘price cap’ will be reviewed every two years and if necessary, they can be adjusted.


Next steps

Before the new roaming tariffs can enter into force The European Parliament and the Council must now formally approve the agreement.

When offering roaming, telecom operators operating in a given EU country must include «Roam like Home» by default in contracts they offer to people who live in that EU country. The will have to adapt their products and contracts to comply the European regulations.


What does this mean for you as customer?

In recent years, the prices for roaming have already reduced systematically. If all goes well then the difference between national rates and the rates in other EU countries will disappear by June 15, 2017. This principle is called ‘Roam-like-home’. This does not mean that roaming traffic in other EU countries will be for free!

The way ‘Roam-like-home’ will be specified depends on your telecom operator. Some possibilities;

  • Option 1: the usage in other EU countries will count towards your subscription
  • Option 2: your operator chooses to adjust the consumption rates (price per minute, text messages or Mbyte)
  • Option 3: your operator will offer new subscriptions and bundles
  • Option 4: …

The choice of your telecom operator to fill in the new EU regulations is of great importance for you as customer. The new regulations might generate additional savings, but at the same time you must be aware of the consequences; modification or termination of bundles, modification of subscription or bundle prices.