Roaming our world has undergone a profound transformation in the first two decades of the 21st century. The Internet has revolutionized our way of life from leisure to work and, more recently, mobile apps have moved this transformation from our homes to anywhere, from an online payment that allows us to buy tickets or pay for any service from anywhere. To have at our disposal maps, images…

For this reason, when we travel abroad, we no longer need to buy a guide as in the past, it is enough to have our mobile to get to know the city and to communicate with our loved ones. Of course, abroad, our rates generally change. We enter the roaming mode.

What Is Roaming

What Is Roaming

The word roaming means roaming in English. It is the ability of mobile phones, thanks to their technology, to use the networks of other companies when they leave the coverage areas of the network that we have contracted. Thus, when we are abroad, our mobiles connect to other networks of companies other than the ones we have contracted.

This means that our rates change, they become more expensive. Companies apply roaming rates to us.  These rates are more expensive to call, send messages, use mobile data to navigate or use WhatsApp.

During vacation times, companies usually launch special roaming rates, somewhat cheaper, to encourage customers to continue using their mobile and to attract new customers.

Problems in border places

We must be careful if we live or travel to border places, for example, in Spain. if we are near Portugal or France, in locations where our company has little coverage, if our phone has roaming activated by default, it can connect to a network Portuguese or French. In that case. our company will charge us the roaming rates. Even if we have not left our country. That’s why if you travel to these places, our recommendation is that you deactivate the roaming option on your phone. If you don’t want to be disappoint.

Present And Future Of Roaming In The European Union

Currently there is what is known as the Euro tariff . The European Union, within its integration policies between member countries, has set maximum limits for roaming. In this way, it is ensure that the prices that Europeans must pay to travel between member countries are similar.

This maximum rate define by the European Union will be charge to all users who have not contracted a special roaming rate, which is normally cheaper.

This Is The Price Breakdown Of The Euro tariff At Present:

  • Calls made between any country of the European Union are charge at 5 cents per minute, plus the rate that, as a user, you have contracted. Thus, for example, if you have contracted a rate for calls of 1 cent per minute and you make a call while roaming or roaming, the final price will be 6 cents per minute.
  • Incoming calls will be charge at 1 cent per minute.
  • The SMS sent have an extra cost over your usual rate of 2 cents per message.
  • And finally, your Internet data rate will be 5 cents per megabyte of data consume. In roaming, data consumption is limit to a maximum of 50 euros. After this point the connection will be cut.

Two more considerations about the Euro tariff: firstly, calls abroad do not have any cost for establishment. And it must be taken into account that not all the countries of continental Europe belong to the European Union.

The future of roaming for consumers is quite bright. The European Union has decided to end roaming in 2017. But with a series of initial conditions.

When the measure was approve. The end of roaming was only subscribe to 90 days a year. This limitation was design to prevent users from contracting their mobile telephony in those countries where the rates were cheaper and then using it from their countries of origin. However, recently, the European Union is working on a new draft without this limitation.

The European Union has establish that from 2017. The rates for roaming in companies will be set as follows:

  • Calls at 4 cents per minute.
  • Each SMS at 1 euro cent.
  • And the data rate will be establish at 85 cents per megabyte consume.

Roaming Rates Currently In Force For The European Union

We are going to detail the special roaming rates that the main operators in our country have.

Vodafone

It has launched a special roaming rate that practically eliminates roaming. In this way, customers who take advantage of this special rate will not pay. A surcharge in the countries of the European Union and the United States. If this special rate is not activated. The Euro tariff will be applied by default.

Orange

The special roaming rate adds the following surcharge: 1 euro per day for 60 minutes of calls and another euro per day for 100 megabytes of data usage. There is no registration cost you only pay if you use it.

Movistar

It only has a special roaming rate for data usage. This consists of paying 4 Euros a day for 300 megabytes of data. For the rest of the services. Calls and SMS. The Euro tariff that we have described above applies.

Rest Of The World

The world does not end in the European Union and every day there are more Spaniards who do tourism far from our borders.

In order to simplify rates for users, mobile phone companies and operators have divided the world into 3 zones: Zone 1 is the European Union. Zone 2 is made up of the United States of America, Canada, the Maghreb countries and the countries of continental Europe that do not belong to the European Union and Zone 3 is made up of the rest of the countries of the world.

Rates In Zone 2 (USA, Canada, Maghreb And European Countries Not Belonging To The EU)

Movistar

For calls to the visited country, it charges 1.82 euros per minute plus 1.21 euros for call establishment. If you call any other country, including Spain. It charges 4.83 euros per minute plus 1.21 euros for call setup. For receiving calls from any country, 1.82 euros per minute plus 1.21 euros for call establishment. SMS in Zone 2 will cost 1.21 euros each. And the data rate set at 12.10 euros per megabyte.

Vodafone

For calls to the visited country. It charges 1.69 euros per minute plus 1.21 euros for call establishment. If you call any other country, including Spain. It maintains the same rate as for calls to the visited country. For receiving calls from any country, 1.69 euros per minute plus 1.21 euros for establishing a call. SMS in Zone 2 will cost 1.21 euros each and the data rate is establish at 6.05 euros per megabyte.

Orange

Calls to the visit country cost 1.45 euros per minute plus 1.82 euros for call establishment. If you call any other country, including Spain, it will be 1.45 euros per minute plus 1.82 euros for call establishment. For receiving calls from any country, 1.82 euros per minute plus 1.21 euros for establishing a call. SMS in Zone 2 will cost 91 euro cents each and the data rate is establish at 12.10 euros per megabyte.

Yoigo

However for calls to the visited country. It charges 1.09 euros per minute plus 0.44 euros for call establishment. If you call any other country, including Spain. Moreover it will be 2.54 euros per minute plus 0.44 euros for call establishment. For receiving calls from any country. 0.44 euros per minute. SMS in Zone 2 will be at 0.36 euros each and the data rate is establish at 11 euros per megabyte.

Rates in Zone 3 are almost the same as in Zone 2.

Conclusions

The technology of the 21st century, with its spectacular progress in communications, mobile apps, which allow calls and video calls to be made through data networks and the increasingly wide areas of Wi-Fi coverage. Moreover are putting the profitability of roaming charges. Vodafone was the first major company to understand this, de facto eliminating its roaming charges for many countries. Nowadays, if you travel abroad, it is easy to keep in touch with family and friends in Spain using the Wi-Fi in hotels, or the public Wi-Fi that is spreading throughout the world. However in restaurants, cafes, parks, hotels, we have free Wi-Fi that, thanks to mobile apps, allows us to communicate with our loved ones for free.

Moreover the new roaming rate that the European Union wants to implement in 2017 will protect customers traveling abroad from abuse by operators. But the new technological reality and the constant revolution that we are experiencing in the field of communications can deal the final blow to roaming. It would not be surprising that in the next five years companies will implement single rates for roaming that improve the conditions of the European Union and later the complete elimination of the concept of roaming.

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