The letter iAbout Comreg IconAbout PRS IconAbout PRSAuthorise Postal ProvidersAuthorise Postal Providers IconBase Station Location IconRadio Tower broadcasting wavesBilling Option IconShow more billing options for this planView this sectionA rightward arrowCode of Practice IconCode of PracticeA weighing scalesCompare Services IconCompetition Law Enforcement IconCompetition Law EnforcementPerson holding their hand up with a question markComplaints and Queries IconCompliance Enforcement IconCompliance EnforcementComreg Investigations IconComreg InvestigationsGroup of peopleConsumer Services IconComReg ConsumerTwo people speaking with a speech bubbles Government building with flagCorporate Governance Icon Coverage Map of IrelandCoverage MapPerson wearing a headsetCustomer Service IconArrow pointing downDownloadE-licencingE-licencing IconErrorA red sign with a white exclamation markFacebookThe Facebook LogoTwo Speech bubblesFeedback IconSquiggly line Iconfive_eight_gz IconOpen PadlockFreedom Act IconFrequency Allocations IconFrequency AllocationsStampGeneral Authorisation IconLandline PhoneHome Phone IconIndustry Forms IconIndustry FormsComReg IndustryA tall buildingInternational IconInternationalLaptop computerInternet IconJargon Buster IconJargon BusterGavel hammer used in courtLegislation IconLicense Exceptions IconLicense ExceptionsLicensing IconRolled Certificate with RibbonLiecense Ammendments Permissions IconLiecense Ammendments PermissionsLinkedinThe LinkedIn Logo - this link will open in a new windowMarket Analysis IconMarket AnalysisMarket Information IconMarket InformationMegaphoneMobile PhoneMobile Phone Iconnav-home-iconnav-home-icon-bluenav-home-icon-greenA folded newspaperIndustry News IconA folded newspaperNews and Press IconNounSubmit a consumer query or complaintPhone BookNumbering Naming Addressing IconShow other information about planOther Information IconShow payment options for this planPayment Options IconPDF logoPDF fileLocation DevicePersonal Locator Beacon IconEnvelopePostal IconPostBoxPostal Authorisation IconEuro symbolPremium Rate IconTest Trail One IconTest Trail OnePrice Control Accounting IconPrice COntrol AccountingProductsProducts IconPRS Number IconPRS NumberBlank PagePublications IconRadio SpectrumRadio Spectrum IconRadio Tower broadcasting wavesIndustry Radio Spectrum IconRegulation Of An Post IconList with a tick markSignal wavesRSS FeedSpectrum Awards IconSpectrum AwardsSpectrum Compliance IconSpectrum ComplianceJigsaw pieceStrategy IconTips Advice IconTips AdviceShapeTwitterThe Twitter Logo - this link will open in a new windowec-networkec-networkEC SignalEC Signalec-checklistec-checklistec-deviceec-deviceec-peopleec-peopleec-speechec-speechXThe X Logo - this link will open in a new window
Home / Advice & Information / Roaming / Using your mobile within the EU

Using your mobile within the EU

This page contains:

  • ‘Roam like at home’ countries

  • Using your mobile within the UK

  • What alerts can I expect to receive when roaming in the EU?

  • How much data am I likely to use?

  • Be careful to watch your data roaming

If you are travelling within any EEA country (which is any EU country plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) you can use your mobile phone to ‘roam like at home’. This means that you can make and receive calls, and send and receive text messages in the same way you do when at home in the Republic of Ireland.

‘Roam like at home’ countries

AustriaGermany Norway
FinlandLuxembourgThe Netherlands

You can also use some or all of your data allowance while roaming in the countries listed above. In some cases, depending on the type of contract you have, mobile providers will allow you to use your full data allowance while roaming.  Your domestic bundle is the normal phone service package that is included in your phone contract when you are at home.

Mobile providers decide these limits based on your domestic bundle and the type of contract (bill pay or prepay) and data allowance it includes.

Once you have exceeded your fair use limit (as determined by your contract) your mobile provider may impose surcharges in addition to your at-home rates.  Those surcharges cannot exceed:

  • 2.2 cents per minute for outgoing voice calls (plus VAT)
  • 0.4 cents per text message (plus VAT)
  • €1.80 per gigabyte (GB) of data (plus VAT)

Your mobile provider will provide basic price information through an alert when you arrive at your EU destination.  You can also check your data roaming allowance before you travel by contacting your mobile provider.

When you travel, you can test the quality of your network with netBravo, a tool developed by the European Commission. You can download the app on Apple or Android.

From 1 July 2022, mobile phone users across the EU benefit from ‘roam like at home’ roaming for another ten years (2022-2032). The regulation provides for additional benefits for an improved roaming experience including:

Quality of service at home and abroad

As part of the roaming rules, the ‘roam like at home’ principle (that you should be able to use mobile service in the same way as at home) extends to the quality of mobile service, for example, speed or access to use 4G, or the more advanced 5G, networks. You should have a similar roaming experience as at home with regard to quality of service, for example, a roaming customer who can use 5G services at home should also have 5G roaming services when this is available. In some cases, it is not possible to offer the same quality because the network might not be as good as the one you use at home. However, your mobile provider should do its best to offer the same quality of mobile service abroad as at home when this is technically possible. Your mobile provider should inform you on how the roaming service can differ from the service you use at home.  This information should be available in your contract and made publicly available (for example, on your mobile provider’s website).

Information and choices

Whenever you arrive in any EEA country (which is any EU country plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) and your phone connects to a network in those countries, an automatic message will be sent to your phone by your mobile provider containing basic information about roaming. This will include charges and any fair use data limit that the mobile provider may apply as well as how to access the 112 emergency number free of charge.

Roaming related notifications should be sent by your mobile provider even when travelling outside the EEA.

The roaming rules introduce additional safeguards for you when roaming in the EEA to help increase transparency so that you are better informed and have ability to exercise informed choice.

Increased transparency Value Added Services

As part of the roaming rules, you are informed about the types of services that can bring additional costs, such as calling customer service numbers, helpdesks or insurance companies. These potentially value-added services can be free of charge or cost less when phoning from home, but when roaming, additional charges may apply.

You should be able to make an informed decision about calling value-added services that may cost extra. Mobile providers must inform you about the type of phone numbers that may be subject to additional charges when phoning them from abroad. This information on value-added service phone numbers should be in your contract[1]. You can also find similar information in the SMS you receive when crossing the border to another EU country and the EEA.

Alerts and avoiding additional charges

If you have unlimited or very low-cost data services, and your mobile provider has applied a fair use limit (for example, a data volume or financial limit), your mobile provider should notify you before you reach the limit. The mobile provider should also inform you when you have used €61.50 (including VAT) and then again when you have used €123.00 (including VAT) in a monthly billing period. The notification must indicate the procedure you should follow if you wish to continue using roaming services. You may opt out and back into this so-called cut-off limit mechanism by notifying your mobile provider.

Contacting emergency services abroad

By June 2023, if traveling abroad, you should automatically receive a message to remind you of the 112 facility and information about the available alternative means of reaching emergency services, such as through real time text or apps. You may use these alternative means of access to emergency services if you are not able to make a voice call to ‘112’.


Using your mobile within the UK

As the UK has left the EU, Irish consumers are not entitled to the EU ‘roam like at home’ rates when travelling to the UK, under EU law. Despite this, we understand that in many cases there has been no immediate change for consumers.

We advise you to contact your mobile provider to check (and confirm) the up-to-date prices and what mobile allowances apply when travelling in the UK.

What alerts can I expect to receive when roaming in the EU?

Welcome Notification 1:When you arrive at your EU destinationThe welcome message from your mobile provider should set out the costs that will apply while you are roaming including any extra charges for using your phone outside your normal at-home plan allowances. It will also specify the amount of data you can use without paying anything extra. This notification should also include: a free phone number for your mobile provider and the number for the emergency services in the country you are visiting.
Spend Alert, Notification 2:When you have used up your data allowanceYou will automatically receive a notification telling you how much more you will have to pay if you continue to use data services. You will then be asked to confirm if you wish to continue data roaming.
Spend Alert, Notification 3:When you have reached 80% of your data roaming limit, pre-set at €61.50 (including VAT)If you choose to continue roaming after using up your data roaming allowance, you will receive an alert when you have reached 80% of your data roaming limit, which is pre-set at €61.50 (including VAT) spend. This is based on a monthly billing period.
Spend Alert, Notification 4:When you have spent 100% of your data roaming limit, pre-set at €61.50 (including VAT)If you choose to continue roaming after using up your data roaming allowance, you will receive an alert when you have reached 100% of your data roaming limit, which is pre-set at €61.50 (including VAT). This is based on a monthly billing period. Your mobile provider will stop your data use at this data roaming spending limit unless you opt to continue paying for data, usually by sending a text message as indicated in the alert.
Spend Alert, Notification 5When you have spent more than €123.00 (including VAT) in a monthly billing periodIf you choose to continue roaming after reaching your data roaming spending limit, you will receive another alert when you have reached €123.00 (including VAT). This is based on a monthly billing period.

How much data am I likely to use?

There are approximately 1,000 megabytes (MB) in 1 gigabyte (GB).

Activity:Duration:Data Usage:
Browsing on Social Media1 hourAbout 90MB
Streaming TV1 hourA typical Standard Definition (SD) streaming
television service can use up to 700MB. High definition (HD) uses up to 3GB and Ultra HD uses up to 7GB
Live Streaming1 hourA typical hour of live TV streaming will use around 540MB of data for SD and 1.8GB for HD content

Be careful to watch your data roaming

Be warned, if you do continue to use data services, the mobile provider does not have to send you any more alerts about how much you are spending.

Please remember to take the necessary precautions to limit or control your roaming data usage.

Was this page helpful?

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Your feedback will help us improve this site.

      Thank you for your feedback.
      Your feedback will help us improve this site.