The number of telephone calls made by people travelling around Europe has doubled since roaming charges were abolished a year and a half ago.
According to the latest findings from the European Commission, there has been a significant change in mobile phone behaviour since June 15th 2017 when roaming charges came to an end.
Mobile phone data usage has increased by five times, and Europeans now make twice as many calls as they did before.
Vice-president for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “Together with other digital rights, such as the end of unjustified geo-blocking and the portability of content, this is a good example to demonstrate how the European Union (EU) can deliver for the benefits of its citizens in their daily life.”
Before the end of roaming charges, only 15 per cent of travellers on the continent would be happy to go online on their mobile phone as much as they would at home. However, this has jumped to 34 per cent since June last year.
What’s more, the proportion of people who never use their mobile data while abroad has dropped from 42 per cent to 19 per cent over the last 18 months.
The abolition of data roaming charges benefits all Europeans travelling in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). This is great news for those using business phone systems while abroad, as they do not have to restrict their online use or the number of phone calls they make, even if they are travelling. This makes them easily contactable wherever they are in Europe.
However, it remains unclear what will happen after Brexit on March 29th 2019. If there is no deal, the government has stated “surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed”. Mobile phone operators might have to issue separate policies regarding roaming charges, which could be vary between suppliers.