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Role of Offline Apps in Reducing Roaming Costs

20% of EU travelers still buying roaming add-ons

Roaming add-ons are additional packages that mobile network providers offer to their customers for use while they are travelling abroad. These packages typically include a certain amount of data, voice minutes, and text messages that can be used internationally.
Without a roaming add-on, mobile users might be charged significantly higher rates for using data, making calls, or sending texts outside of their home country. These add-ons allow users to continue using their phones while abroad without incurring these high costs. The specific offerings and prices for roaming add-ons can vary greatly between different mobile network providers.
A fifth of EU travellers (20%) are still buying an extra roaming package from their operator, a year since ‘roam like at home’ took effect. That’s unchanged compared to a year ago, a survey in May by Eurobarometer found.

Respondents are now more likely to use their phones abroad like at home, compared to 2017, although the majority still use them less or not at all:

SIM card e SIM shop

Mobile Internet on mobile phone: an increase of eight percentage points of respondents who used them as often as in their country (34% vs. 26%), this represents an increase of
three points compared with respondents who travelled after June 15 in 2017 (31%).

Text messages on mobile phones: an increase of seven percentage points of respondents who used them as often as in their country (33% vs. 26%), this represents an increase of three points compared with respondents who travelled after June 15 in 2017 (30%).

Voice calls on mobile phones: an increase of six percentage points of respondents who used them as often as in their country (26% vs. 20%), this represents an increase of two points compared with respondents who travelled after June 15 in 2017 (24%).

Almost half have travelled to another EU country in the last 12 months Roaming add-ons

Respondents were asked about their travel within the EU in the last 12 months:
Almost half (46%) have travelled to another EU country during this period: 18% have travelled once, 18% have done so two to three times, 5% have travelled four to five times, and 5% six times or more. A slight majority (53%) have not travelled to another EU country in the last 12 months.

Travelling habits vary considerably across countries. At least three-quarters of respondents in
Luxembourg (85%), Austria (78%) and Slovenia (75%) have travelled to another EU country at least
once in the last 12 months, compared to 26% of respondents in Greece, 28% in Portugal and 30%
in Spain.

Six percent of those who travelled in the EU in the past 12 months bought a SIM card in their destination country, the same share as a year ago.
eurobarometer roaming

Alternatives to roaming add-ons include: Roaming add-ons

  1. Local SIM Cards: Upon arrival in the foreign country, you can purchase a local prepaid SIM card. This can often be cheaper than using a roaming add-on, especially for longer trips.
  2. International SIM Cards: These are SIM cards that work in multiple countries. They can be a good option if you’re travelling to several different countries.
  3. Wi-Fi Calling: If your phone supports it, you can make calls over Wi-Fi instead of the cellular network. Many messaging apps also support voice and video calls.
  4. Portable Wi-Fi Devices: These devices provide you with internet access wherever you go. You pay for the data package that you need.
  5. eSIM: If your phone supports it, you might be able to download an eSIM for your destination before you travel.

Remember that these options each have their own pros and cons, and what works best will depend on factors like the length of your trip, the country you’re visiting, and how much data and how many minutes you expect to use.

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