We live in a data hungry connected world and we tend to take it for granted. We use our smartphones to get directions, find restaurant reviews and post photos of our meals on all the major social media platforms. This is generally not an issue whilst at home, we pay for a service and we get that service.
As soon as you go abroad though, everything changes. You’ve got your mobile phone company to enable roaming on your account, you listened, not very attentively as they informed you of the cost for calls and text messages, by the time they get to data, your eyes have glazed over and you miss the part where each MB of data will cost you €8.00!
You get off the plane, search for a network to connect to, then panic as notifications start appearing on your phone, you forgot to turn off Data Roaming in settings!! Somewhere in the deepest recesses of your mind, you remember something about data cost when travelling and that has set the alarm bells ringing! Those few emails and Facebook notifications have probably cost you €2.00 already!!
Eventually you find the setting to turn off Data Roaming and breathe a sigh of relief. The next challenge is to find a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to. Perhaps your hotel has free Wi-Fi, maybe the restaurants and bars you visit will have free Wi-Fi.
That’s not good though if you are white water rafting in Germany and you want to post a photo while you hang on for dear life as you tumble through the rapids. You want to live stream that to your followers and you want to do it now!
Well the good news is that you will be able to do all the above without breaking the bank soon.
From June 15th 2017, you’ll be able to use your mobile device when travelling in the EU just like you would at home, without going broke! If you feel the need to post a photo of you at sunset on the beach in Marbella, you can! Perhaps you’d like to post a selfie of you and Ronaldo after a match in Madrid, you can!
Best of all, when you get lost after taking a scenic route through the Black Forest in Germany, you will be able to turn on Google Maps and find your way back to your hotel!
On a more serious note, if you have drivers crossing Europe on a daily basis, their phone bills will be reduced dramatically. If you have staff who regularly travel around Europe for meetings, their phone bills will also be noticeably reduced. Basically, if you use your phone for business or pleasure when in Europe, you’re going to make savings on your phone bill.
Obviously, this change only affects EU member countries. We’d hope that after Brexit, a similar arrangement would be put in place for travellers to and from the UK. It would be unfortunate if this didn’t happen.
It does look like the phone companies are already trying to get around the new rules (link), lets hope they don’t get away with it!
If you’d like to read more on the end of roaming charges in the EU, just click on this link.