Mobile Roaming Charges
Mobile Roaming is where you use your mobile device outside the country in which it is registered. The EU has agreed some common standards on this which includes the “Roam like at Home” rule when you use your mobile within the EU.
Now that the UK has left the EU (Brexit); mobile operators in Austria and the UK can charge for roaming in each other’s countries and this can be very expensive especially where data is concerned.
Note 1: Fair Usage Caps on Data might still apply even when roaming is included (e.g. limiting free data usage)
Austrian Mobile Operators
The table below provides an overview of the main operators in Austria and whether they support UK roaming.
|Operator||UK Roaming included||UK Roaming Overview|
|A1||No||Changes to UK roaming introduced on 1st June 2021.|
|Drei||Tariff Specific||Changes to UK roaming introduced 15th August 2022. Some dedicated tariffs include UK roaming (additional cost)|
|Magenta||Yes||Currently includes UK within EU roaming tariffs|
Austrian MVNOs that are known to currently include UK Roaming are HoT and Spusu.
Here’s a list from RTR of who owns which Austrian mobile brand.
UK Mobile Operators
The table below provides an overview of the main operators in the UK and whether they support Austrian roaming.
|Operator||Austria Roaming Included||Austria Roaming Overview|
|Vodafone||Old Tariffs only||Introduced roaming charges from 31st January 2022,|
applies to new and upgrading customers from 11th August 2021
|BT/EE||Old Tariffs Only||Introduced roaming charges from 3rd March 2022, applies new and upgrading customers from 7th July 2021.|
|Three UK||Old Tariffs Only||Introduced roaming charges from 23rd May 2022, applies to new and upgrading customers from 1st October 2021|
|Virgin Media O2||Yes||They have not introduced roaming charges although fair usage caps might apply|
Here is some general advice:
Welcome Text Messages
Do not ignore those welcome text messages when you arrive in a new country as they may provide crucial information on charges.
Dual SIM Phone
Look in to a Dual SIM phone or an eSIM compatible phone so that you can use a local SIM when required. Make sure you switch the data to the local SIM when you change countries.
Be very careful travelling near the border especially when it is a non-EU/EEAEEA The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the 27 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The United Kingdom is not part of the EEA. country such as Switzerland. Do not ignore the text messages.
Consider setting data limits before travel especially where Fair Usage Caps apply.
Call Forwarding Etc
Be very careful enabling Call Forwarding when you are roaming. If the phone is registered as roaming with Call Forwarding enabled you may still get charged even if you remove the SIM from the phone. Disable this feature before leaving and/or disable the SIM before roaming can be enabled.
Data Intensive Apps
When roaming try and avoid using high data intensive apps such as Video Streaming apps (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, Tiktok, etc), Music streaming apps (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music etc) and other Social media apps (e.g. Instagram, Facebook , Snapchat, Twitter, etc ). In addition double check what Apps the children are using. Also think twice about using your mobile as a WiFi Hotspot.
Mobile as a Sat Nav
Think twice before using a roaming mobile as a Sat Nav as it may be costly especially as there may be fair usage caps. Consider downloading offline maps. Most sources tend to indicate that Waze uses less data, followed by Google Maps, followed by Apple Maps.