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Roaming EU: What changed in 2017 (review of the expensive roaming period)


A look back at the time before EU-wide free roaming. That changed in 2017. Before that, roaming was very expensive even within the EU.

It was promised for a long time and reported about in the media, now the dream of many vacationers shall finally come true. Since June 2017, roaming charges for EU citizens have been abolished throughout the EU.

Since 2017, you can use roaming free of charge throughout the EU: Calling, texting and surfing in the EU as well as Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland costs the same as at home in Austria or Germany. However, there are exceptions where roaming surcharges may still apply. These include making calls and surfing in Switzerland, which is excluded from EU roaming.

The discussion about roaming charges within the European Union began 10 years ago. At that time, surfing and phoning abroad was akin to financial suicide, and vacationers often only saw the nasty surprise on their cell phone bill. The first cap on roaming charges was therefore passed back in March 2007. By 2016, more and more regulations and stricter caps were defined to prevent cost explosions for vacationers and business travelers.

As of June 15, 2017, the time had finally come: Roaming charges disappeared completely and the EU becomes one, at least as far as cell phone charges are concerned.

This is what changed in roaming in the EU in 2017

Since June 15, there are no more roaming charges. Since then, only the domestic rate has been charged in the EU.

But what is still not possible in 2022: Actually, after the abolition of roaming, you could have bought a much cheaper tariff in another country and used it in this country, right? According to the Commission, that is - unfortunately - not possible. If a network operator notices that the customer is practically constantly in another EU member state, it can terminate the rate without notice.

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