Check your mobile subscription before European holiday

Talking on mobileTalking on mobile.Photo: pixabay.com

Expert advises to check your mobile subscription before your European holiday

From June the 15th you will pay the same price to use mobile networks in Europe as you do at home. But be sure to check how much data you can use BEFORE you travel. Your mobile subscription may give you an unpleasant surprise when you return home.

 

‘This is a day to remember. From the 15th of June, Norwegians in Europe can use their mobiles carelessly without getting a shock when they get home from the holiday’, said Elisabeth Aarsæther, Assistant Director of the National Communications Authority(Nkom) to NTB news agency.

‘This is a day to remember. From the 15th of June, Norwegians in Europe can use their mobiles carelessly without getting a shock when they get home from the holiday’, said Elisabeth Aarsæther, Assistant Director of the National Communications Authority(Nkom) to NTB news agency.

She’s referring to the horror stories from a few years back when people would come home to mobile bills that were higher than the price of the holiday.

The Consumer Ombudsman believes there are reasons to take care of how we use mobile phone’s in Europe.

‘You must check what kind of payment system you have, and exactly what’s included in your subscription. Make sure you don’t spend more than the data package you have at home,’ said Bente Øverli, Deputy Head of Consumer Ombudsman.

If you have a subscription with just 1GB of data, you could get an extra bill when you get home. The one gigabyte is quickly used up,and then operators can charge extra for overuse. But the price should be the same as for overuse in Norway.

Pay attention

‘Basically, it’s good news that you can travel within the EU without worrying about mobile usage. But people shouldn’t bring their habits from home and use the phone uncritically,’ said Øverli.

She recommends downloading the app giving an overview of the data usage that often comes with the subscription. Additionally, you can reset the data usage overview in the settings of your phone. Then you have good control even if there are delays with the app.

‘One should still use WiFi whenever possible’, Øverli advises.

You will still receive price information on SMS when you arrive in a new country.
You will also receive a notification when consumption costs reach 570 kroner.

Taking a road trip? Bring a map!

Norwegians are spoiled by 4G, and receive good coverage and high speeds on the mobile network. This is not always so in the rest of Europe.

‘In a country like, for example, Germany, the coverage is not the same,’ said Aarsæther in Nkom.

If you are planning a driving holiday Europe, Norway’s Automobile Federation (NAF) strongly recommends bringing a good map.

‘You can’t guarantee coverage. Mobile phones also use a lot of power when they search’, said communications adviser, Jan Ivar Engebretsen.

He also pointed out that all European countries, with the exception of Sweden,require fixed handsfree systems to use phones while driving.

Entering EEA Agreement

The new EU rules aren’t yet formally incorporated into the EEA Agreement, though it’s expected they’ll be in place to apply to Norwegians before June the 15th.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications will incorporate EU rules into Norwegian law as soon as the rules become a part of the EEA agreement.

‘In order to ensure that Norwegian consumers enjoy the new rules at the same time as the rest of the EU, we’ve been actively involved in the work, both administratively, and politically.

Many consumers try not to use mobile phones abroad because they fear unpleasantly high bills. Removing digital barriers is important’, said State Secretary, Reynir Jóhannesson of Fremskrittspartiet (Frp) to NTB news agency.

Telenor, and other Norwegian mobile companies, have also prepared themselves. Many subscribers have been notified that they have to change subscription or the price will be raised as a result of the new rules. Companies expect increased costs for mobile operators abroad.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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