Data roaming in Europe - How to avoid it

Data roaming in Europe - How to avoid it

Data roaming can is a pain for travelers

Data roaming in Europe: find out the DOs and DONTs

Every traveler have already experienced trouble with data roaming. Which traveler has not undergo a bill shock when coming back from a short trip overseas. It is not rare to hear someone says that he paid several hundred dollars or euros for quick use of his phone abroad. The main reason is Roaming.

Our best tips to avoid data roaming in Europe

What is Data roaming?

Before explaining how to avoid data roaming, let's define what is Roaming.  Roaming refers to the use of your phone when you are outside of your mobile operator's coverage area. When traveling abroad, you stay connected with you mobile phone thanks to the roaming agreement between your home provider and other mobile operators.

International roaming is generally very expensive: phone calls, text messages and using mobile internet trigger roaming.


Is Data roaming expensive?

The use of your phone abroad will trigger roaming with very high rates compared to domestic use.
Some operators now include free texts and calls abroad in their plan, or reduce a bit their price abroad, but prices are still expensive compare to the use of your phone when your home.
You should always check before leaving what are the prices that your operator offers when you travel. And you can also call the customer service to ask for a prepaid plan.

What about data roaming?

Be careful and avoid data roaming (mobile internet abroad)! It is almost systematically not included in your mobile plan. When data is not included in your mobile plan, 1 MB of data consumption abroad can cost up to 15€ (which means, around 40€ to refresh a random internet page). For example:

  • - In Australia data roaming in pay as you go is: from 1€ to 2€ per MB
  • - Asia: from 1€ to 15€ per MB
  • - North America: from 0.25€ to 20€ per MB
  • - South America: from 2€ to 15€ per MB

Be careful abroad someone can easily consume 500 MB per day which represent 100€ to 10 000€.
Some operators provide plans with data package included or sell data package to their customers. But generally, the amount of data provided is very low and the speed is very slow overseas. When an operator propose an international data package, it is generally expensive (regarding to the amount of data provided) and it is low speed (slow 3G or 2G) which is useless compare the amount of data needed by the apps now.

How to avoid data roaming?

To avoid large bills abroad, all you need is a reliable internet connection in Europe. On top of the regular phone usage, you will be able to access all kind of services provided by apps (which can be very useful abroad). Today, many apps allow to call and send texts using data (like Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, etc.).

In our next article, you will find our travel tips for finding good international dataplan and reliable mobile internet solution abroad.

*Unlimited internet with Daily Fair Usage Policy applies. Europe & USA: 1GB in 4G/LTE - Mexico : 2GB - South East Asia, Japan & China: Unlimited 4G/LTE - Rest of the world: 500MB in 4G /LTE. Throttled speed of up to 512kbps afterwards.