European roaming law gets update – no 90-day limit

OK, story so far then. We’re all fairly familiar with the “bill shock” that comes with a trip across a local border here in Europe. Take a short trip on the Eurostar and your phone suddenly costs a whole lot more to use than it does back home.

The EU decided to put a stop to this and, after a false start, we should now be seeing roaming charges getting binned completely from June 2017.

Yay! Rejoice!

European roaming law gets update   no 90 day limit

Oh wait.. there’s a couple of problems though. First, Britain held a vote on EU membership, and we decided to leave. We’re now in limbo-land where nobody really knows what’s going to happen and whether this law will actually apply for very long at all. When Britain does leave the EU this law will probably get canned, and then we’ll all go back to paying a fortune for the privilege of talking on the phone in a European country again…maybe.

Then there was problem number two. The EU initially stated that there would be a 90-day time limit on how long you could use your phone abroad. This would stop you buying a SIM card from Latvia (for example) and then coming back to the UK and paying buttons for your data, text and calls package. Effectively the draft would stop each European network from selling their offerings to customer from outside that European country on a long-term basis.

However.. Andrus Ansip, European Commissioner for the digital single market, told a news conference that there would no longer be a formal limit…

We will not put any limit in terms of days… but we decided to put clear safeguards in terms of residency.

So, although there won’t be a formal limit, there will instead be checks on what country you come from.