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NFH (Offline)
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Default 20-12-2016, 12:13

Why should it make any difference whether a user is on a one-month SIM-only postpaid contract or prepaid? Why should the fair usage policy be any different?
   
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peterdoo (Offline)
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Default 21-12-2016, 13:41

To be able to get a contract, one normally has to prove the links to the country of the operator (credit rating, address, bank account...). In most of the cases it is not possible for people not living in a country to get a postpaid contract. So the probability is low that users from other countries would use a SIM in permanent roaming mode. There are still some possibilities to do it, however those should be stopped by the "60 days within 4 months" rule.

On prepaid it is very easy for anybody to get a SIM and use it in permanent roaming. This is something, the free EU-roaming was not designed for. That is why the operators got stronger tools to prevent that situations for prepaid.

The operators can use less strict FUP if they wish, like for example Vodafone Netherlands and Germany and Telekom Germany which currently use almost identical FUP in prepaid EU-roaming as they do at home.
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 08-01-2017, 02:10

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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
But it also seems like during the years they've taken to arrive at this point, roaming costs have dropped enough that a lot of people are okay with roaming for short periods of time.

Or prepaid data has also dropping in price. Or there are products offering free roaming within the EU already.

So to a certain extent, the market has solved the problem during the sweet time it's taken the EU bureaucrats to lift roaming costs.
But only with a lot of kicking and screaming by the networks for years.

I became an Orange UK customer in 1999. Somewhere I still have the booklet about roaming charges. About 30 or 35 pence a minute in neighbouring countries like Belgium and France, about 60p in Germany, about 6p in Hong Kong - in other words similar rates to what people there paid, plus a bit. At the time Orange rates in the UK were about 30p a minute - so roaming with Orange wasn't much more than at home. Mind you other networks were higher, like Vodafone or O2 around £1 a minute each way.

In 2003 I was in Poland. Orange increased the roaming there from 51p a minute to £1.10 while I was there, and didn't even tell me. When I complained, they'd told people with monthly statements up to one date on one month's statement, and after another date on the adjacent month. There was a 12 day gap. Fortunately for me I'd got a local SIM and only spent a couple of quid with Orange.

So it's taken 15 years to get back to only a small margin on top of home rates, and not much of the time in between has been filled with innovative new roaming offers. Almost all of the drops have been driven by the politicians and the regulators.
   
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 18-03-2017, 19:51

So another milestone, not necessarily the last, for EU-wide free roaming.

EU agrees on wholesale roaming charges on Feb 1, 2017:

Quote:
'Roam like at home'

"This decision is the final step in a process that started 10 years ago," said Dr Emmanuel Mallia, the Maltese Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy.

"From next summer, wherever they are travelling in Europe, citizens will be able to make calls, send texts, surf and stay connected. Roam like at home is now a reality."

Under the agreement, the wholesale charge for data will drop from the current cap of 50 euros (£43) per gigabyte (gb) to 7.7 euros (£6.60) per gb on 15 June.

The price will drop again on 1 January every year until January 2022 when it will be 2.5 euros (£2) per gb.

Calls will fall from 0.05 euros (4p) per minute to 0.032 euros (3p) on 15 June, and text messages will go down from 0.02 euros (2p) to 0.01 euros (1p) per message.

The charges will be reviewed every two years and new caps proposed if necessary. The first report is due out at the end of 2019.
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38825154

But it still has to be voted on by the EU Parliament and member states.

Yet they're talking about RLAH from June 15, 2017 on. So less than 3 months away I didn't see any other updates since Feb 1 when this agreement on wholesale prices was announced.

All these bodies are going to ratify it and then the carriers are going to be able to do RLAH marketing in less than 3 months?

EU just moves at a glacial pace.

One wrinkle to all this is that UK citizens may get RLAH in the EU after June 15 but depending on how they negotiate withdrawal, by 2019 they may no longer have RLAH rights.
   
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wolfbln (Offline)
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Default 21-03-2017, 17:57

Yes, there is good news and bad news in Europe.

The good news first: We will have no more roaming surcharges from June 15th, 2017 in 28 EU and 3 EEA countries. The Roam like at Home principle is now final and concerns all voice, SMS and most data for all EU-based providers on a SIM card issued in the EU.

While some big telcos have applauded this step like Vodafone that has own branded networks or partner networks in every country, smaller operators are much more critical about it. The cap on wholesale prices of €7.70 per GB that was agreed to in February is not enough for them.

So here is the bad news: Some telcos try to avoid or undermine this new roaming regulation, before it has even started. Here are some of their measures:
- some simply raise prices and say it's because of roaming
- some simply stop to offer internatl. roaming on some plans
- some try to outsource data volumes from their plans to "bonuses" or "benefits" not to be offered for roaming without surcharges
- some will apply the "sustainability clause" (see below)

There is one common concern: data rates are very different from country to country. For instance in Germany still €10/$11 per GB are payed, while in neighboring Poland there are prepaid plans offering 1GB for 1Zloty (that's €0.23/$0.25!). So there is a real danger that users from "expensive" countries will buy a SIM in a "cheap" country and use it permanently roaming at home. Thus all local or national pricing would be undercut.

So the EU agreed finally on some principles to guarantee "sustainability". It's essentially a FUP regulation. On cheap data plans or packages, not all of the included data needs to be given out for "roam like at home" (= without surcharges at the domestic rate), but only a certain quota. It's a minimum of around 2.2GB for a €10 plan or 4.5GB for a €20 plan. Overuse fee is again capped at the wholesale cap of €7.70 per GB plus local taxes.

Many operators from cheap countries will employ this FUP. So it's not all "Roam like at home", but as close as it can possibly get. The wholesale caps will come down in the next 5 years to €2.50 per GB resulting in lower prices all over.

But there is a lot of uncertainty amongst the smaller providers who don't have a pan-European network in their back as they are afraid to lose revenues. It may lead to another consolidation of the telco industry on the continent when they add up figures after this roaming summer.

For the consumer, it surely means lower prices for roaming in the EU, but the gaps remain with countries not part of the regulation like Switzerland and possibly the UK in a few years. Some providers will charge 1000-times higher rates there for roaming! Well, this is still Europe: better look on a map before.

Last edited by wolfbln; 21-03-2017 at 18:21..
   
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peterdoo (Offline)
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Default 22-03-2017, 11:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbln View Post
Yes, there is good news and bad news in Europe.
For the consumer, it surely means lower prices for roaming in the EU, but the gaps remain with countries not part of the regulation like Switzerland and possibly the UK in a few years. Some providers will charge 1000-times higher rates there for roaming! Well, this is still Europe: better look on a map before.
Yes, sad but true. Vodafone Germany charging 4200 Euros per GB in Switzerland although Vodafone big boss claims, that Vodafone group treats Switzerland as a part of EU:

“We treat Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, as part of it so why would we not treat the UK that way?”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/...phone-roaming/
   
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Default 22-03-2017, 18:04

4200 Euro?
   
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Default 23-03-2017, 00:01

Yes, 4200 Euro per 1 GB!

https://www.vodafone.de/infofaxe/397.pdf

See page 5. Zone 1 (Switzerland) costs 0,20 Euro per 50 kB which equals 4,10 Euro per each MB or 4194 Euro per each GB.
   
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wolfbln (Offline)
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Default 03-04-2017, 08:51

This will be one of the new catches:
Many telcos here have actually raised rates for roaming outside of the new EU/EEA roaming area. The same is true to "foreign calls". These are IDD calls from the home country of the SIM abroad which remain unregulated under the new law even calling a EU county. Thus, it's going to be cheaper calling another EU country on a foreign roaming EU SIM card than from your home EU country on your home SIM. How ridiculous!

For you in overseas who are not so sure how "Europe" looks like (this includes Europeans often too), I've made a map some time ago for the Wiki:
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.c...?file=EU-0.png

You see that there are some boarder zones where green meets red. These are quite dangerous. What Switzerland is concerned, the CEO of Vodafone is right. Vodafone UK includes it to their EU zone. But he is the boss of a twentysomething countries with Vodafone networks. Vodafone Germany doesn't include Switzerland. They don't have to, as Switzerland is not part of the deal. Vodafone will be the clear winner of this regulation as they can rely on own resources in most countries. They shouldn't play games like this.

Here is another one: Serbia is bordering 4 EU countries. Within the EU they sell 1GB at €10, roaming in Serbia: "€1.18 per 50 kB" (Peter has linked the rate plan above. Serbia is in Zone 4 for data). If you do your math right, you'll end up with more than €25000 per GB. We still can't be so sure that bill shocks are over. That's why I said: Better look on a map before and for God's sake shut off automatic network selection in border areas.

Last edited by wolfbln; 03-04-2017 at 09:01..
   
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wolfbln (Offline)
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Default 15-04-2017, 14:26

Hi. I used the bad weather on Good Friday to write the new article for roaming in the EU/EEA for the Wiki.

Please check it out: http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.c...pean_Union_NEW
And tell me what you think, what to add and what can be left out.
It will replace the old site with the old rules from June.

Writing this I really don't know what to do. Some people have already decided a verdict on the new rules. For some it's the end of all roaming charges, others see no real progress.

I don't want to subscribe to any of these views. We simply need to wait how providers will implement the new rules this summer.

The first new plans or tariffs for the time past June 17 are coming in. They are both encouraging and frustrating. For instance Orange in Belgium will implement the rules without any strings attached, but Orange in neighboring Luxembourg will undercut it by a special domestic offer valid in Luxembourg only. Luxembourg without roaming???

So you see the different operators react diffently according to market. Vodafone has been very groundbreaking so far and announced "roam like at home" for most of their major markets. In Spain they actually include the US to their fee-free zone. But what are they going to do in "cheap" countries like Romania?

Ironically, "roam like at home" is a principle that should bring people in Europe together. But as it looks now, some of the richer countries will usually get it, while users in some poorer countries will still face limitations.
   
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