After two network operators in Germany have introduced tariffs in the past few weeks without roaming charges in the EU, the third network operator, Telefonica O2, has followed suite and done the same. At least in theory as the fine print contains a major catch.
I usually don’t mention company names in my post as I’m not an advertising blog but in this case I have to make an exception because that catch is significant. Instead of offering the same data rates like at home, Telefonica O2 reduces the speed while roaming to a meager 1 Mbit/s and limits roaming to 1 GB per month independent of the data bucket subscribed to. As Teltarif aptly says (in German), they are basically offering an access speed of a DSL line 15 years ago. When traveling at home and also abroad, I make frequent use of tethering to connect my PC to the Internet. Especially for web browsing and also for up- and downloading files this speed has become far too slow to be really usable.
To add insult to injury the marketing spin of the company around it touts this as a necessity to offer an optimal and consistent experience to the user. Right, but a bad experience remains a bad experience, even more so if it is consistent. One could believe this is all a mistake and the marketing department tries to get a positive spin on it until things can be fixed. Sadly enough this is not the case as the 1 Mbit/s limit was already introduced last year.
True, it’s good to have competition and cheaper alternatives but with these limitations (1 Mbit/s and 1 GB per month) it will attract few customers that do a more than WhatsApp messaging while roaming. Unless of course they only find out about the limitations when its too late by running into it rather than consciously accepting it when clicking on the order button.