roaming europe

The end of roaming fees in Europe. Is that so ?

on 06/01/2020

Roaming charges within Europe for European residents are illegal since June 2017. Does this mean that you can really “roam like at home” ? Not quite. Although you can talk and text as much as you do at home within the limits of your phone plan and at domestic rates, when it comes to data, it is another story.

Mobile operators are expected to apply the fair use policy to allow all mobile phone users to roam when travelling within the EU, but they are also allowed to apply restrictions to control usage abuse :

  • Limitation of data volume
  • Control of residency to avoid dumping

If you live in the EU, you will be able to make and receive phone calls, send and receive texts or voicemails with no surcharge, just as you would at home. You will also be able to check your email, connect to the Internet and use your apps, but at some point you might be charged with extra roaming fees.

When will you be charged for roaming ?

The limit will depend on your mobile operator and your phone plan ; although, you will be applied your domestic rate, it will only be on a set data volume. The extra data will be charged at a rate that should not exceed 4,50€ per Go which is the European wholesale data roaming cap. This rate is valid for 2019, it will decrease at 3,50€ in 2020, 3€ in 2021 and 2,50€ in 2022.

If you have unlimited data on your phone plan, your operator will calculate the fair use volume as follows : 2x your monthly mobile plan rate / wholesale data roaming cap (4,50€ in 2019). So,if your phone plan is 20€/month, you will be allowed 9Go/month while outside of your country of residence. Note that this is the minimum allowed, your operator can be more generous.

If you have a limited data allowance on a very cheap mobile plan (less than 2,25€/Go), your operator can apply a limit based on how much you pay. Regardless of the situation, your operator must notify you when you sign up and when you reach the limit.

How to limit roaming charges on your next trip to France ?

Start by checking your data limit with your operator and the roaming charges they apply if you exceed it. If you’re a heavy data user : movie streaming, music streaming, video conferencing, geolocalization apps, live feeds on social media, etc. it is likely that you’ll have to plan for extra budget for your trip. If you are several people travelling together, the roaming charges might add up.


If you want to stay connected without weighing too much on your travel budget, check out NomadeWifi services to save on your roaming charges. Starting at 9,50€/day you have unlimited roaming for up to 10 users anywhere you go. You can order your pocket wifi hotspot online and have it waiting for you at the airport, hotel or wherever convenient. When your trip is over, you just drop it in a mailbox and that’s it !

Marine NicolasThe end of roaming fees in Europe. Is that so ?