Portuguese data roaming in EU increases 370% in one year

Mobile data use by Portuguese roaming customers in the EU increased by 370 percent in the year to the end of the third quarter of 2017, national regulator Anacom told Lusa.
One year after the entry into force of the agreement on the termination of roaming fees, Anacom says that communications made by roaming Portuguese users “increased substantially” within the EU.
In the same period, there were also increases in total voice calls received and made and in the exchange of text messages, adds Anacom, mentioning increases of 66 percent, 49 percent and 98 percent, respectively.

 

In Portugal, fears have been expressed that the termination of roaming charges could lead national providers to increase the charges for domestic users. With far more EU citizens vacationing in Portugal than Portuguese in the EU Member States, companies such as NOS, MEO and others are deteriorating their earnings footprint, experts say. And if holidaymakers from the EU Member States would use more data volume in the Portugal holiday because of the cost advantage in the future, the infrastructure would have to be prepared for it. In particular, peak loads in the summer months and in tourist centers such as the Algarve will require considerable investment in the performance of the mobile communications system.

Another challenge for providers could be so-called “phony roaming”. These are the behaviors of those customers who frequently commute between two EU countries and buy the package deals for their telecommunications where they are the cheapest for them.

Some German discount providers seem to be trying to circumvent the freedom of roaming charges with a simple measure. They offer contracts that apply only in Germany. There it says then in the fine print for example: “Roaming is not possible in this tariff”. In such cases, the smartphone or cell phone does not even dial into a foreign network. Alternatively, “international” tariffs are offered. These are more expensive.

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