Using your mobile within the EU

Since June 2017, Irish consumers travelling within any EU country (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) have been able to use their 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. It doesn’t matter which mobile network that you are connected to.

'Roam like at home' countriesAustriaGermany Norway
BelgiumGreecePoland
BulgariaHungaryPortugal
CroatiaIcelandRomania
Czech RepublicItalySlovakia
CyprusLatviaSlovenia
DenmarkLiechtensteinSpain
EstoniaLithuaniaSweden
FinlandLuxembourgThe Netherlands
France

Similarly, 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.

The amounts below are the most you can be charged when roaming in the EU and you have used up your domestic bundle:

  • 3.2 cents per minute of voice call made (plus VAT)
  • 1 cent per text message (plus VAT)
  • €3.00 per gigabyte (GB) of data (plus VAT)

Your mobile provider will confirm your roaming data allowance by text when you arrive at your EU destination.  You can also check this allowance before you travel by contacting your mobile provider.

Using your mobile within the UK

Now that the UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit has come to an end, Irish consumers are not entitled under EU law to the EU ‘Roam like at home’ rates when travelling to the UK. Despite this, we understand that in many cases there will be no immediate change for consumers.

It is advisable to contact your mobile provider to check (confirm) the up-to-date prices that may apply and what mobile allowances apply when travelling in the UK.

For further information on the impact of Brexit on mobile roaming, please see our Brexit page.

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

SMS Welcome Text 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 text message should also include: a free phone number for your mobile provider and the number for the emergency services in the country you are visiting.
SMS Spend Alert Text 2:When you have used up your data allowanceYou will automatically receive a text message 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.
SMS Spend Alert Text 3:When you have reached 80% of a €50.00 plus VAT spendIf you choose to continue roaming after using up your data roaming allowance, you will receive an alert when you have reached 80% of a €50.00 plus VAT spend. This is based on a monthly billing period.
SMS Spend Alert Text 4:When you have reached 100% of a €50.00 plus VAT spendIf you choose to continue roaming after using up your data roaming allowance, you will receive an alert when you have reached 100% of a €50.00 plus VAT spend. This is based on a monthly billing period.

How much data am I likely to use?

There are 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 usage.

 

See our guide on roaming
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