EU Roam Like Home Has Started Today – And I Have Flipped The Switches

Today, 15 June 2017, is the day ‘EU Roam Like Home’ has come into effect. While my personal contract has had an EU option with additional benefits for quite some time now, we have a number of additional SIM cards in the family we use on a daily basis when we travel to different countries. So far, data roaming on those SIMs was simply switched off. Also, we use these SIM cards so people in other countries can call us when we are not in the country. With roaming now being included it was time to flip the data roaming switch on. Also I had to make some changes as one network operator we have a SIM card from is refusing to play along the EU rules. No money from us anymore…

Germany, Congstar

We have one German prepaid SIM card of Congstar, an MVNO, with a 8 euro monthly option that includes a couple of hundred MB of data per month, i.e. a bit but not much. Congstar has decided to stick to the new EU roaming rules and make that data volume available not only in Germany but also in the EU. Great, you keep our business! I flipped the data roaming switch this morning while being abroad and indeed, Internet connectivity works and their web page now shows that our monthly allowance is usable in the EU.

France, Bouygues

As we are in France quite often we do have a contract SIM with French network operator Bouygues. For 20 euros a month, 20 GB of data are included. On their web page they say that 5 GB are available in the EU per month. At first this raised a number of question marks as that’s not quite “Roam Like Home”. But 20 GB are quite a bit for 20 Euros, at least by today’s standards I’m accustomed to in Germany. But it seems it’s within the rules. More about that in a follow up post. 5 GB is something we can work with so they keep our business, too.

Austria, Telering

Telering is an MVNO and so far we have been using a prepaid SIM card and paid a 12 euro per month option for free calls, SMS and 3 GB of data (which we hardly ever use). Their terms of service state that DATA ROAMING is now disabled. 12 euros and no data roaming??? I feel ripped off. So thanks, but not thanks, I’ve discontinued the 12 euro option a month from this day on. No more fixed monthly sum from us anymore. Instead, we will now use the German SIM to make calls when we are in Austria which will be included in that contract and keep the Austrian Telering SIM mainly for incoming calls in a dual-SIM smartphone so people in Austria can reach us.

In summary the new rules save us 12 euros a month and will make international calls cheaper and less of a hassle. Looking back to the past decade, I don’t think we’ll permanently save those 12 euros as there will surely be new options coming along that we’ll gladly take to improve our mobile communication experience.