Immense outlier up was the summer of last year. In the third quarter of 2017, 1,989,000 GB of data were received. This is 388 percent more than in the same quarter of 2016. “We expect very high usage figures for data roaming again this summer,” says Gungl.
On average, holidaymakers consumed 189.1 MB of data in the third quarter of 2017 every month in the EEA. 164.4 MB were in the first quarter of 2018.
More telephony – less SMS in summer
Even the telephony is steadily increasing and finds its peak in the summer months. In the third quarter of 2017, 218.8 million roaming minutes were phoned. Above all, active roaming minutes have risen sharply. These increased by 58 percent compared to the third quarter of 2016 (from 88 to 139.5 million minutes). In the first quarter of 2018, it was 92.3 active and 56.1 passive million roaming minutes.
There is a decline in roaming SMS, albeit only slightly and only during the summer months. “The end customers prefer to rely on data-based messenger services,” says Gungl. The third quarter of 2016 compared with 2017 results in a decline in SMS by five percent; namely from 31 to 29,6 million. Nevertheless, RLAH also has its effects here: if you compare the third quarters of the years 2015 and 2016, you will see a decline of an impressive 21 percent.
Where can Austrians use RLAH?
RLAH is only possible with an Austrian SIM card in the EEA-foreign countries. The European Economic Area (EEA) is the EU member states plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. There surfs, calls and texting at the same price as at home. “The operator has to send a personalized SMS with the free units and the costs at the border crossing,” explains Gungl. The current state of the free units can usually be looked up in the app of the operator. But beware: RLAH does not apply in Switzerland, not on cruise ships and not on the plane. It is best to switch off the roaming function in the settings of the smartphone in such a case.
Likelihood of confusion: international telephony is not roaming!
The benefits of “Roam Like At Home” can only be used by Austrian SIM cards in the EEA area. Telephone calls from Austria to EEA countries are therefore not covered. This international telephony is conventionally charged according to the contract. But there is a price capping for international calls: From May 2019, an active telephone call from Austria to other EU countries only costs a maximum of 19 cents net per minute. For text messages, it will be a maximum of six cents without VAT per text message.