Is Data Roaming Free in Europe

Imagine landing in Paris, eager to share the Eiffel Tower’s first glimpse with your friends and family. But then, a nagging thought crosses your mind: “Will I be charged exorbitantly for using mobile data here?” 

This was a common concern for many travelers in Europe until the European Union stepped in with a game-changing initiative.

This article delves into the evolution of data roaming charges in Europe, providing context and clarity on the current state of affairs.

is data roaming free in europe featured image

The European Union's "Roam Like at Home" Initiative

In a bid to make mobile usage more consumer-friendly, the European Union introduced the “Roam Like at Home” rule. But what led to this decision?

For years, EU citizens grappled with high roaming charges, leading to “bill shocks” and limited mobile usage while traveling.

Recognizing the need for seamless communication in an interconnected continent, the EU launched this initiative in June 2017, ensuring that its citizens pay domestic prices for mobile services, even when traveling within its borders.

Countries Covered Under the Initiative

The “Roam Like at Home” rule is applicable in all 27 EU member states. Additionally, countries like Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, while not EU members, have also adopted similar agreements.

Roam Like At Home Countries

The “Roam Like at Home” initiative applies to the 30 members of the European Economic Area (EEA).Here’s the full list of the 27 EU countries plus the additional EFTA member states:  These countries have agreed to the “Roam Like at Home” regulations, which means that when you use your mobile phone while traveling outside your home country in any of these countries, you won’t pay any additional roaming charges.

Exceptions and Limitations

While the initiative is groundbreaking, it’s essential to understand its nuances:

  • Understanding the Fair Usage Policy: This policy ensures that users don’t misuse the benefits. For instance, if a user resides in one country and gets a SIM from another because it’s cheaper, and then predominantly uses it at home, surcharges might apply.
  • Data Caps Explained: Some operators might set a limit on data usage, beyond which standard roaming rates might apply.
  • Differences in Prepaid and Postpaid Plans: The benefits might vary between these two types of plans, with prepaid users sometimes facing stricter data caps.

Impact on Mobile Operators

The introduction of the “Roam Like at Home” rule undoubtedly impacted mobile operators. While it led to reduced direct revenue from roaming charges, many operators saw an increase in data usage, leading to indirect revenue streams.

Tips for Travelers

If you’re planning to travel within Europe, here are some tips to ensure a smooth mobile experience:

  • Check with Your Provider: Before traveling, get clarity on the roaming policies of your service provider.
  • Monitor Data Usage: Keep an eye on your data consumption to avoid any unexpected charges.
  • Consider Alternatives: If you’re staying for an extended period, it might be economical to get a local SIM card or explore Travel eSIMs as an alternative.

The Future of Data Roaming in Europe

The landscape of data roaming in Europe is ever-evolving. With Brexit, the UK’s position regarding the “Roam Like at Home” rule is under scrutiny.

Technological advancements, like 5G, might also influence roaming services, offering faster speeds but potentially different pricing structures.


The “Roam Like at Home” initiative has revolutionized mobile usage for travelers in Europe. As the digital landscape evolves, it’s crucial for travelers to stay informed.

With the constant changes in the EU’s political and technological spheres, how do you envision the future of data roaming in Europe?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below.

By entering your email & signing up, you agree to receive promotional emails on eSIMs and insider tips. You can unsubscribe or withdraw your consent at any time.

About The Author
Meet Emily Chen, a travel writer and eSIM enthusiast. Emily’s love for exploring new places has taken her all over the world. She now shares her experiences and tips for staying connected while traveling through her writing on eSIMradar.
5 1 vote
Rate the article
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How To Order an eSIM

esim purchase

Compare eSIMs

Compare and find the most suitable travel eSIM for your needs and purchase it directly with the provider.

esim delivery

Receive eSIM via email/app

You will receive the eSIM profile within a few minutes in a separate e-mail or you can directly access it in the provider’s app.

esim setting

Install eSIM

Scan the eSIM QR code in the mail with the camera function of your smartphone and follow the instructions on the screen. The profile will be set up automatically.

esim success

Free roaming abroad

You can now use the eSIM abroad! 

Search over 28000 eSIM data plans in 210+ countries

Why Choose an eSIM?

esim environment friendly


The eSIM works digitally only, so fewer resources are used than with the classic SIM card.

esim digital


The new eSIM can easily be digitally uploaded to your smartphone. It’s quick and saves the environment.

esim fast delivery email

Fast Installation

Your eSIM profile is sent easily and conveniently by email. This means you will receive your digital eSIM much faster than a physical SIM Card by post.

Join the conversation! Leave your questions and opinions below.x

Write a review

Help others by providing a review on eSIM providers or their eSIM plans