Roaming gives customers of mobile operators the opportunity to use all the functions of their mobile phones abroad in consideration of significant additional costs.
In the European Union, rights and obligations of providers as well as customers are defined by the Regulation No 544/2009 on roaming.
Since 1st July 2012, new tariff limits for all providers of the European Union entered into force:
Customers and business travelers will also be protected from unpleasant surprises on their bills through the establishment of a strengthened warning system. They have to be warned as soon as their mobile bill is around 50 € a month for data transfer – unless the customer agrees in advance to a higher limit. Moreover, users have to confirm they wish to exceed this threshold to keep using data services.
Further reductions are planned until 2016.
In this context, the European Commission proposed that, from July 2014, European consumers can purchase separately special packages for their communications in one EU country, with the operator of their choice, without having to change their phone number. Upon request to their operator, users can receive a new SIM card to phone both in the home country and abroad. This text is only a proposal and must still be approved.