How much will you pay for a cell phone on vacation

The best way to go on vacation is to go without a cell phone, but very often this is not possible. However, before the desired vacation, it is worth checking how much it will cost us to use the phone outside the country.

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Roaming under protection

The Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 contains rules that protect cell phone users when they are in EU countries. The legislation sets rules for roaming charges within the 27 EU member states. What issues does it regulate?

From 1 July 2010, the maximum charge for a Eurotariff call may not exceed €0.39 (excl. VAT) for calls originating from a subscriber and €0.15 (excl. VAT) for calls received.

From 1st July 2010, the price of a roaming text message cannot exceed €0.11 (excl. VAT). For subscribers who are roaming, the Eurotariff is activated automatically.

Exceptions are subscribers who have previously made a deliberate choice of another available roaming tariff with their operator.

Data caps

Operators are obliged to inform the subscriber automatically about the fact that he is currently using a data roaming service and about the cost of such a service.

In addition, as from 1 March 2010, operators must provide the possibility to deliberately choose, free of charge, a service for the provision of information on the accumulated values for the use of data services, which may be presented, for example, in terms of amounts or quantities.

For this purpose, the operator provides one or more maximum financial limits that correspond to a certain amount of data to be used by the user. One such limit during a single billing period is the default financial threshold, which maxes out at €50 (excluding VAT).

Take over Play to beat competitors?

Valuable charging per second

What happens if we exceed the limit? Once you have used up 80% of your available price or volume limit, your home operator will send you a notification. When the entire available limit has been used up, the user will make a choice: whether to continue using the service or to stop data transfer. The operator is also obliged to inform the user about the costs associated with data roaming.

The Regulation also sets a wholesale charge of €0.80 per Mb of data transmitted.

Operators do not charge users for receiving voice messages while roaming.

From 1 July 2009 The Regulation requires operators to switch to per-second billing for calls made and received abroad, subject to the condition that per-second billing can take place immediately or after a maximum of the first 30 seconds of a call made from abroad. This means that per second billing should start at the 31st second of the outgoing call at the latest.

Beware of prices outside the EU!

While the European Community countries have introduced the same rate for calls and text messages, travelling outside of the European Union can cost us dearly.

Croatia can be particularly “dangerous” for our pockets, because many tourists forget that the Croats, as well as other countries of the former Yugoslavia (except Slovenia), are not members of the EU. For this reason, the prices of received and made calls, as well as text messages, in this case are much higher.

A real price nightmare awaits those who often use cell phones in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia or Turkey – wildly popular due to low prices. For a minute of connection to Poland from e.g. Hurghada we can pay even more than 10 PLN.

4G network in Poland with a delay

On the operators’ websites you will also find information about lower prices for calls from certain countries, blocking of specific services or redirecting to another number. And, most importantly, the operators also remind about the activation of the roaming itself.

It is worth using this information, because we do not want to go on vacation with a completely useless phone.

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