Roam Like At Home (EU/EEA)

Starting from 15 June 2017, the telephony services you use while roaming in the EU/EEA are charged as if you used them in Romania, under off-net regime and subject to a fair use policy (FUP).

The Economic European Area (EEA) covers the EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland (including Åland), France (The French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, Saint-Martin), Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira), Romania, The Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Sweden, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Norther Ireland (including Gibraltar)), as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Roam like at home is applicable only to occasional trips outside the country where the communications service has been purchased and within a limit for the fair use of roaming services in the EU/EEA (FUP limit). After sending a warning, if you exceed the FUP limit, the provider may levy surcharges in addition to the domestic tariffs, for the subsequent provision of roaming services in the UE/SEE. The surcharge amounts are capped. Moreover, the total amount of the domestic tariffs and of the surcharges is capped.

When you travel in across the EEA, your provider must apply the ”Roam like at home” system by default, under regulated conditions.

However, the following exceptions from this rule may apply:

a) The providers may offer tariff plans (subscriptions or prepay card add-ons) without roaming included. Therefore, before leaving the country, you should check whether the tariff plan you have bought includes roaming services in the EU/EEA or outside the UE/EEA, or it does not include roaming services. The providers must inform their customers when a purchased tariff plan does not include EU/EEA roaming services.

b) Some providers may be unable to apply the“Roam like at home” system under commercially feasible conditions.Where proof thereon is submitted to ANCOM, the Authority may authorize the respective providers to levy surcharges, in addition to the domestic tariffs, irrespective of whether you have reached the FUP limits for roaming services within the EU/EEA or not.

c) The providers may also launch offers featuring different charging mechanisms for the EU/EEA roaming services (alternative tariffs), which you should explicitly choose, in order to be applied. You have the right to revert to “Roam like at home” although you may have chosen such an alternative tariff.

In the tariff plan (subscription, prepaid card, option/add-on) that you have purchased, you have a set of resources included in the domestic allowance – off-net minutes/SMS, and data (MB/GB) available for use anywhere in the country.
According to Roam like at home, within the FUP limits, you can use all the national resources included in your tariff plan also while roaming in the EU/EEA, without incurring any additional costs.

That is, calls (minutes) made/SMS sent to EU/EEA destinations (to phone numbers in Romania, including on the same network, to local numbers in the visited country or to numbers in any other EU/EEA country), will be deducted from the off-net minutes/SMS included in the tariff plan, and you will not have to pay any additional costs.
Similarly, the data (MB/GB) consumed while roaming in the EU/EEA will be deducted from the domestic data resources (MB/GB) included in your tariff plan, so you will not have to pay any additional costs.
After the included domestic resources are exhausted, the tariffs charged in Romania will apply, i.e. tariffs for domestic off-net minutes/SMS, and tariffs for domestic data resources (MB/GB).
Calls (minutes) made/SMS sent to destinations outside the EU/EEA are not deducted from the domestic resources included. These will be charged according to the tariffs under your provider’s current offer. ANCOM advises you to check these tariffs your provider.

The calls and SMS you receive in EU/EEA roaming will not generate any costs for you.

You can benefit from Roam like at home if your prevalent place of residence is in Romania or you have permanent links with Romania and travel abroad in an EU/EEA country.

The mechanism of benefiting from roaming services in EU/EEA at domestic tariffs – a.k.a. Roam like at home – is not designed for using EU/EEA roaming services permanently. That is, one cannot use SIM cards from Romania on the territory of another EU/EEA country on a permanent basis or for long periods of time. The providers can implement several measures for preventing permanent roaming, even for customers whose prevalent place of residence is in Romania or have permanent links with Romania.

Providers may set certain roaming conditions in the EU / EEA to prevent abusive or abnormal use of this service for purposes other than occasional travels outside Romania – e.g. to prevent permanent roaming in the EU / EEA.

Thus, your provider can define a Fair Use Policy – FUP for roaming in the EU / EEA, in order to be able to continue offering tariff plans that include unlimited data (MB / GB) allowance. However, such FUP policy should comply with certain conditions laid down in the regulations adopted at European Union level.

Where you have exceeded the FUP limits, your provider may levy some surcharges, in addition to national charges, for the subsequent provision of roaming services in the EU / EEA. These surcharges are capped. In addition, the national tariffs and the surcharges cannot exceed a certain total amount.
Your provider must to specify in the contract, in detail, any fair use policy they apply.
Your provider must set up transparent, simple and effective procedures for settling complaints on fair use policy.

The fair use policy defined by your provider may provide:

a) measures relevant for all mobile services (calls, SMS and data);

b) additional measuresrelevant only for data (MB/GB) included in certain tariff plans.

Your provider must specify in the contract, in detail, any Fair Use Policy measure they apply.

Your provider must set up transparent, simple and effective procedures for settling complaints on fair use policy.

a) request for providing proof of the prevalent place of residence or of permanent links with Romania

Your provider may request a proof of the fact that your prevalent place of residence is in Romania or of your permanent links with Romania. Such proof may be requested irrespective of your being a prepaid card user, excepting the situation described in Section 10 b).

Permanent links with Romania are considered to have those who – irrespective of nationality – are in the country for various purposes, such as: carrying out an independent activity, a labour contract (including cross-border commuters or posted workers), participation in a study programme, etc.

Providers cannot deny your purchasing a tariff plan for the only reason that you have failed to present, upon request, a proof of your prevalent place of residence or the existence of permanent links with Romania.

However, if you use mostly roaming services, your provider may request a proof of the fact that your prevalent place of residence is in Romania or of your permanent links with Romania, and – if you fail to present such proof – may levy surcharges for EU/EEA roaming, in addition to the national charges. Surcharges are levied immediately after the expiry of the deadline for presenting the above-mentioned proof.

b) monitor mobile service consumption (calls, SMS and data) and presence (connection to the network) at national level, respectively in EU/EEA roaming, in order to determine prevalence.

The period during which your provider may monitor these 2 objective indicators – mobile service consumption (calls, SMS and data) and presence (connection to the network) – cannot be shorter than 4 months.

Your provider will decide the mobile services to be monitored (calls, SMS, data), and the measures presented below will be applicable only for the respective services.

Any day on which you connect in Romania to your provider’s network will be counted as a day of national presence. For Fair Use Policy purposes, mobile service consumption and presence (connection to a network) in roaming outside the EU/EEA will be assimilated with national ones.

Your provider may start a new monitoring period every day, as it has no obligation to wait for the completion of a monitoring period to start a new one.

Your provider DOES NOT monitor the content of your communications made/sent or received by means of mobile services.

If, during a monitoring period of at least 4 months, you register – on a specific SIM card – cumulatively, both mobile services consumption and presence (network connection) that prevail in EU/EEA roaming compared to the national level, your provider will send you a notification and afterwards may apply surcharges, in addition to the national tariffs, for subsequent EU/EEA roaming consumption.

By this notification, the provider will grant you a period, which cannot be shorter than two weeks, to change your usage behaviour.

In response to this notification, you have the right to provide evidence that you are not using the EU/EEA roaming service for other purposes than for regular trips.

It is considered that you have changed your usage behaviour if, within the term specified by the provider in the above-mentioned notification, the consumption of mobile services or the presence registered at national level are higher than the ones registered in EU/EEA roaming.

If, within the term specified by the provider in the above-mentioned notification, you have not changed your usage behaviour, then surcharges may be applied, in addition to the national tariffs, for EU/EEA roaming consumption registered from the moment of sending the notification.

Your provider has the obligation to cease applying the surcharges as soon as you have changed your usage behaviour, as assessed by monitoring the same objective indicators – mobile services consumption and presence (network connection). The monitoring period with a view to ceasing the application of the surcharges cannot be longer than the one that determined their application.

These clarifications are also applicable to the situation where you have presented, upon the provider’s request, a proof of your prevalent place of residence or of your permanent links with Romania.

c) monitor (in)activity to determine if there is a long period of inactivity of a SIM card, associated with a predominant or even exclusive use in EU/EEA roaming;

Your provider can monitor the activity periods of SIM cards. ANCOM recommended the providers that in this case the monitoring period should not be less than 4 months.

The clarifications from letter b), above, are valid also in this case.

d) monitor activity to determine whether you have purchased and successively used several SIM cards in EU/EEA roaming;

If the provider finds that you are in such a situation, you can be applied surcharges, in addition to the national tariffs, for the subsequent EU/EEA roaming consumption registered on all the SIM cards you have purchased from it.

a) set a FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming, per billing period, upon the exceeding of which a surcharge may be applied to you, if you have an open data tariff plan (prepaid card, subscription, add-on).

If you have an open data tariff plan, your provider may set a FUP limit to data consumption (MB/GB) in EU/EEA roaming; having exceeded this limit, a surcharge may be applied to you.

Open data tariff plans are prepaid cards, subscriptions or add-ons that:

  • include unlimited data traffic

This category includes tariff plans with traffic of a certain recommended speed (e.g. 4G), upon the consumption of which additional traffic is not applied surcharges, the speed dropping abruptly (e.g. 64-128 kbps).

or

  • whose tariff (VAT not included), calculated per 1GB, in a billing period, is lower than:

ˇ 3.5 Euro – during 1 January – 31 December 2020

ˇ 3 Euro – during 1 January – 31 December 2021

ˇ 2.5 Euro – from 1 January 2022

The tariff per 1 GB is determined by dividing the retail price of mobile services for a billing period (usually, one month or 30 days), VAT not included, by the number of GB included in the respective tariff plan. The tariff without VAT is the tariff with VAT divided by 1.19.

For example, a tariff plan containing only mobile services (calls, SMS and data) at 15 Euro/month (VAT included) with an included 5 GB/month data allowance, is an open data tariff plan, since the tariff calculated per 1 GB is lower than 3.5 Euro.

Calculation:

Price of mobile services, VAT not included = 15 Euro: 1.19 = 12.60 Euro

Tariff calculated per 1 GB = 12.60 Euro: 5 GB = 2.52 Euro (< 3.5 Euro)

However, a tariff plan containing, for example, only mobile services (calls, SMS and data) at 10 Euro/month (VAT included) including a 1 GB allowance is not an open data plan, since the tariff calculated per 1 GB is higher than 3.5 Euro.

Calculation:

Price of mobile services, VAT not included = 10 Euro: 1.19 = 8.40 Euro

Tariff calculated per 1 GB = 8.40 Euro: 1 GB = 8.40 Euro (> 3.5 Euro)

In the case of open data tariff plans, the FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming, for a billing period (usually, one month or 30 days), in GB, cannot be lower than double the result of dividing the retail price of mobile services, without VAT, by:

ˇ 3.5 Euro – during 1 January – 31 December 2020

ˇ 3 Euro – during 1 January – 31 December 2021

ˇ 2.5 Euro – from 1 January 2022

For example, in the case of a 15 Euro/month tariff plan (VAT included), including a 5 GB data allowance, the FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming (MB/GB), during 1 January – 31 December 2020 cannot be lower than 7.2 GB/month.

Calculation:

Price of mobile services (VAT not included) = 15 Euro : 1.19 = 12.60 Euro

FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming = (12.60 Euro : 3.5 euro) * 2 = 7.2 GB/month

Once you have reached this limit, providers may apply a surcharge, in addition to the national tariffs, for the subsequent EU/EEA data roaming (MB/GB) consumption.

Your provider must send you a notification when the FUP limit for EEA roaming service has been reached, indicating the amount of the surcharge to be applied in addition to the national tariff for the subsequent data roaming consumption.

b) setting a FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming – per billing period -, upon the exceeding of which you may be applied a surcharge, if you have a pay-as-you-go prepaid card (charged per consumption unit – MB/GB):

If you have a prepaid card on which data consumption (MB/GB) is charged by consumption unit (no data allowance included), your provider may set a limit for data roaming consumption in EU/EEA, per billing period, upon the exceeding of which a surcharge may be levied.

This FUP limit, in GB, cannot be lower than the result of dividing your included credit that was available when you started consuming EU/EEA data roaming, by:

ˇ 3.5 Euro – during 1 January – 31 December 2020

ˇ 3 Euro – during 1 January – 31 December 2021

ˇ 2.5 Euro – from 1 January 2022

For example, in the case of a pay-as-you-go prepaid card with a 10 Euro (VAT not included) credit still available at the moment of starting EU/EEA data roaming consumption, the FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming, during 1 January – 31 December 2020, cannot be not lower than 2.86 GB.

Calculation:

The FUP limit for EU/EEA data roaming services = 10 Euro : 3.5 euro = 2.86 GB

Before travelling abroad in EU/EEA, you should find details about Roam like at home and the conditions applicable to your provider’s alternative special offers. They are available on your provider’s website or with its Customer Service.

Moreover, ANCOM makes available updated relevant information on the InfoCentre web page and by Veritel.ro – the online price comparison tool.

The European Commission also makes available online information on the EU/EEA roaming service at the following addresses:

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/telecoms-internet/mobile-roaming-costs/index_ro.htm

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/roaming#Article

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-913_ro.htm

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-885_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/image/document/2017-14/roaming_charges_in_the_eu_-_update_april_2017_v2_2-page-001_44067.jpg

When you are connected in international roaming, your provider must send customized information on the tariffs (VAT included) applicable for roaming services in the visited country. You have the right to receive such customized information irrespective of the service purchased and of the country visited.

When you are roaming in the EU/EEA, you provider must send accordingly customized information on the Fair Use Policy (FUP) for the roaming service in the EU/EEA, as well as precum on the applicable surcharges in case you exceed the FUP ceiling.

Moreover, your provider must provide you with a number to which you should have free roaming access, while in the EU/EEA, where you can get more detailed information on the rates applicable to the roaming service in the visited state. When roaming within the EU/EEA, your provider must notify you about this toll-free number.
Your provider has the obligation to send you the details mentioned above in a notification displayed on the screen of the mobile device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) through an SMS, e-mail or pop-up window, as the case may be.
If you have chosen to stop receiving the notifications mentioned above, you should know that you have the right to review this decision, at any time and free of charge, in which case your provider has the obligation to resume sending the information messages.

Mobile operators that are unable to commercially sustain “Roam like at home” may request and may be authorised by the regulatory authority, upon assessment, to levy certain surcharges on their users – following analysis – in addition to the domestic tariffs, from the first minute/SMS/MB consumed in EEA roaming.

So far, ANCOM has received and approved – for the third year in a row – RDS&RCS’ request. ANCOM’s authorisation is valid for 12 months starting 1 July 2019 and may be renewed if the authorisation grounds remain in force. The surcharges authorised by the Authority are meant to ensure RCS&RDS’ capacity to recover the costs they incur in providing their customers roaming services within the EEA, without prejudice to the terms under which this operator provides mobile services on the Romanian market, and cannot exceed the following caps:

a) 0.0154 Euro/minute, for calls made;

b) 0.0079 Euro/minute, for calls received;

c) 1.41 Euro/GB (0.00141 Euro/MB).

For the calls made while roaming in the EEA, the RCS&RDS subscribers will pay only the surcharge – from the first minute – within the limit of the included domestic minutes, respectively the tariff for off-net calls and the surcharge, after the consumption of the included domestic minutes.

For the calls received while roaming in the EEA, the RCS&RDS subscribers will pay only the surcharge, from the first minute.

For the data consumed while roaming in the EEA, the RCS&RDS subscribers will pay only the surcharge, from the first MB.

ANCOM will monitor RCS&RDS throughout this interval, to ensure that the operator complies with the authorised surcharges and does not recover more than the costs of providing roaming services within the EEA.

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