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Mobile roaming outside of Ireland: The only guide you need

Staying connected
Mobile roaming outside of Ireland: The only guide you need
Staying connected

What do you need to know about roaming outside of Ireland in 2021? How can you keep phone bills at bay when going abroad? We’ll tell you!

Are you planning a holiday or a business trip to another country in Europe? Or do you spend time in European countries outside of Ireland on a regular basis? You may have wondered how your mobile phone provider will end up charging your for using your phone abroad. Using your mobile phone abroad (your phone keeps working in another EU country) is called roaming.

What is roaming?

After travelling to another country in the EU, your phone travels along with you. Doing so, it connects to another network by another provider. You may have noticed that your phone alerts you to switching on to another network after landing at an airport. Or after arriving in another European country by train or boat.
You are able to call and receive calls or send and receive text messages again. Before February 1st 2020 your provider would charge you the exact same costs for your mobile phone usage abroad (in the EU) as at home in Ireland. This was called free mobile roaming in Europe.

What are your roaming costs outside of Ireland in 2021?

There is no more certainty of free roaming or so-called surcharge-free roaming on a trip in Europe. This means that using your phone within the EU or outside of Northern Ireland can cost you again. Some networks promised to maintain free roaming after the Brexit cut-off date.
In reality only a few mobile phone operators have stuck to this promise; in Ireland O2, Three and Vodafone are sticking to a fair use policy for now. This is in line with the policy maintained by phone operators within the EU.

Good to know when roaming outside of the UK and Northern Ireland

The UK Government now has an EU Roaming Regulation in place. This regulation is retained in the UK law and has been made to protect UK citizens from ending up with massive phone bills after travelling abroad. Phone operators must now send you an alert message when you have reached the usage of 80% of your roaming data limit.
You receive a second alert when you have reached a 100% of your roaming data use limit, wherever you are outside of the UK. Make sure to check the roaming policy maintained by your specific operator before travelling abroad.

How can you avoid higher costs for using your phone when travelling?

If you happen to visit other countries outside of the UK or Southern Ireland on a regular basis, or if you are planning to use your phone often when abroad, it is important to mind your phone usage costs. One way to keep your phone bill in check is using a prepaid SIM card.
If you happen to travel to a specific country abroad on a regular basis, simply use a cheap mobile phone with prepaid phone credit and a SIM card that works in your country of choice. Simply top up online when needed! Another benefit of using a cheap mobile phone with prepaid credit; losing your phone abroad is a lot less stressful when it’s a cheap phone.

Using prepaid phone credit

Top up mobile
before you travel, or simply buy prepaid phone credit from anywhere in the world (and for many phone operators) on Recharge.com. Set yourself a phone budget and top up your credit with a specific amount of money that you are willing to spend.
Are you running out of phone credit whilst abroad? It’s safe and easy to buy digital prepaid phone credit online. After buying your credit you will receive a top-up code by e-mail, with which you can replenish your phone credit.


Make smart use of your complimentary WiFi

If you are staying in a hotel with free WiFi, it’s smart to plan your online time wisely. Connect your phone to the hotel WiFi and make the most of your free time online. Sending holiday photos to friends, sending Whatsapp messages or making phone calls online? It’s all free if you switch on to the WiFi connection offered by your hotel.

Written by

Kristina Kalpaklieva