What the EU roaming regulations mean for you

By Ed Rix: Business Roaming, Telefónica UK

Whichever way I look at it, I’ve got Europe on my mind.

As a UK citizen, my country has to decide whether to remain in Europe or not. As a network operator, my team and I have to make sure that we comply with the latest EU roaming regulations. And as a traveller affected by these changes, I can now look forward to using my phone and tablet in Europe without the fear of a big bill.

David Cameron recently visited O2 Head Office to discuss remaining in Europe, and was asked whether we would continue to uphold EU roaming regulations if Britain were to exit. His response was an emphatic yes. He assured us that we will continue to ensure the best possible deals whilst roaming in Europe, regardless of the referendum outcome. What’s more, the European Parliament is working to get rid of all roaming charges within the European Union by June 2017. This all sounds like very good news for travellers – but is it realistic?

Britain can sometimes feel like a dreary little island, so it’s no wonder that we’re often jealous of Europeans and their warmer climates. Millions of Brits flock to countries like Spain and Greece every year to get their fix of sunshine, and naturally want to use their mobiles while abroad. European operators understandably require payment for the use of their networks, charging us for every minute, text or Mb that is used by our customers. But so what? Surely there are similar numbers of trips to Britain, meaning that all the cross-charges even out? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Our Mediterranean cousins just aren’t that keen to head north for an overcast week in Blighty. So no matter what regulations are enforced, there will always be costs to recover when customers roam in Europe.

Clearly, regulations aren’t going away. But does this blunt instrument put the customer first?

This is where it gets interesting. The regulations set a standard maximum charge at a relatively low cost per minute, text or Mb, which will be in place until June 2017. The problem is that most business customers don’t choose Pay As You Go usage in the UK, so why would they want it when travelling abroad? Our research shows that first and foremost, customers are looking for control. They want to be able to connect, simply and quickly, with full knowledge of what they will be charged.

We’ve developed O2 Travel to meet this demand for control. For less than the price of a coffee, you can get your hands on all the data, calls and texts you need to keep your business operating in Europe. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend £1.66 per day on reassurance, rather than caffeine?

O2 Travel is our way of putting the customer first. For a fixed price of £1.66, it gives you a day’s worth of data, calls and texts. No unexpected charges, no nasty shocks on your bill. And if you want to continue to use data at higher speeds, you can just take another pack. You stay in control of costs, employees can work from anywhere, and your customers get a better service.

Communicating freely while on business travel within Europe needn’t cause any headaches. Visit our website to find out more about O2 Travel and how to opt in.