Minister Denis Naughten says new roaming deal "will be transparent"

The new measures came into effect today

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has said the new roaming regulations, which came into effect today, are a win for Irish consumers. 

In a statement issued this afternoon, Minister Naughten said, "Ireland has been fighting hard at the EU negotiating table to bring an end to exorbitant mobile roaming bills for Irish people travelling in the EU".

"The new system is a win for consumers and will streamline their mobile phone use at home and abroad,” he continued.

Some have raised concerns over the fine print when it comes to data usage while abroad, however. Those who have access to 'unlimited' data at home will see their usage capped as per the terms of the 'fair usage policy'. 

Consumers are advised to speak to their mobile network ahead of travelling to ensure they are not faced with a surprise bill upon their return. Minister Naughten says every effort will be made to inform the consumer of their allowance. 

“This deal will be transparent. Customers will receive an SMS upon arrival in an EU country with a reminder of their data roaming allowance and the surcharges that may apply if the free allowance is exceeded. Once 80% of the allowance is used, a further SMS will issue, and a further one again when the limit is reached."

The new EU rules state that those travelling within the EU can use voice, SMS and data services whilse abroad, as they would at home. Minister Naughten says he has spoken to the main mobile networks to ensure they fully comply with the new rules. 

"I met with all the main mobile operators yesterday and asked them to give me an assurance that they will be fully compliant with the new rules and are ready for these new changes. I was adamant that costs should not be passed down to consumers in respect of the market effects of ‘Roam Like at Home’ and technically the same level of service must be offered as that experienced at home."

Both 3 and Meteor had come under fire for reducing customers' EU roaming data allocation. The networks have since revised their data offering to roaming customers. 

Any customer who goes above their individual data threshold will still be able to use data roaming but will face a charge of €7.70 per GB. This will decrease to €2.50 per GB by 2022.