As of mid-June 2017, a new EU roaming Legislation was introduced, known as “Euro-roam “ or “Roam like Home”. This means that while roaming in the EU, your calls, texts and data continue to come out of your domestic allowance.
Vendors were quick to capitalise on this as a selling point, mentioning it at every opportunity to non-business users.
We noted at the time of the announcement that the new legislation could be a double edged sword for businesses. On one hand, it looked like the move could generate significant savings for companies with employees that frequently travel abroad. On the other hand, the EU makes up only 28 of the 51 European countries, and employees would have to pay roaming charges if they were to travel to (our through) for example Switzerland – or even just a bit too close to the border. We also anticipated European vendors would offset this lost EU roaming revenue by raising prices elsewhere.
So what effects are businesses seeing? For a start, vendors essentially have free reign to create 'fair usage' policies, so you may just be able to use a fraction of your allowance abroad. More importantly, before you sign any addendums the vendor sends over, check what impact this whole affair has on your roaming rates to Non-EU countries.
In the last month, we’ve seen the cost of roaming data in the US and Rest of World increase massively - sometimes 40 times what it was before the legislation change.
The big 3 UK vendors have all clawed back revenue from unsuspecting customers, either refusing to give “Roam like Home” allowance until a new contract is signed, or bidding in RFPs where they price the “Roam like Home” option out of the realms of realism, forcing their customers back into daily rates.
It's as important as ever that consumers and businesses are aware of what's in their contracts, particularly as news of the legislation may have lulled them into believing it's now universally cheaper to roam in Europe.