What are international roaming charges?

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What are international roaming charges? Simply they are fees that mobile service providers charge their customers when they use their phones or other mobile devices outside of their home country or regular mobile phone network.

The charges cover the cost of connecting to another network and using their services, such as making calls, sending texts, or when accessing the internet. Business mobile users will usually pay more for roaming due to running data heavy apps and when on video calls.

Roaming charges were originally introduced by operators to cover the cost of mobile operators allowing customers to use their services when travelling abroad. Mobile operators would have to pay other operators in foreign countries for access to their network, and these costs were therefore passed on to the customer in the form of roaming charges.

There are a few types of roaming charges: data roaming, voice calls and text messages. Data roaming refers to the use of mobile data services, such as accessing the internet or downloading apps, while travelling abroad.
lady working on a mobile and laptop

Voice and text roaming refers to the use of voice calls and text messaging services while travelling outside of the home country or network.

Data roaming charges

Data roaming charges are often the most expensive type of roaming charges, as data usage can quickly add up, especially if customers use data-intensive services like streaming video or downloading large files.

To avoid high data roaming charges, many customers choose to turn off their data roaming when travelling abroad, or use Wi-Fi hotspots instead of mobile data.

Voice and text roaming charges are typically less expensive than data roaming charges, but can still add up over time. To reduce these costs, some mobile operators offer special roaming packages that include a set number of voice and text minutes or messages at a reduced rate.

While many mobile service providers have reduced or eliminated roaming charges in recent years, some operators still charge for roaming services, particularly when customers are travelling outside of the EU or other regions.

The cost of roaming charges can vary widely depending on the country and the mobile operator, so it’s usually a good idea for travellers to check with their service provider before going abroad to understand the cost of roaming charges, and consider purchasing a better roaming package, to reduce costs.

In recent years, there have been efforts to reduce or eliminate roaming charges altogether. In the EU, roaming charges have been reduced or eliminated for customers travelling within the EU, thanks to the ‘Roam Like at Home’ regulation.

This has made it easier and less expensive for customers to use their mobile devices while travelling within the EU.

In summary, roaming charges are fees that mobile service providers charge their customers for using their mobile devices outside of their home country or network.

While many operators have reduced or eliminated roaming charges, they can still be costly for customers who travel frequently. 

Are you looking for help in reducing your international roaming charges?


The team at RoamingExpert are here to help you take advantage of lower roaming costs and a more flexible way to manage your roaming contracts and tariffs. Take a look at our process here and see how we can save your business money on international roaming.

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