What do you have to pay for mobile calls abroad within the EU?

5 Jul 2017 | Genoveva Geppaart

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As of 15 June 2017, you will not be charged for roaming if you are in another EU country. Your phone call or data use will cost the same as if you would call from the Netherlands (or any other country where you live and have your subscription for your mobile phone).

If you plan to make a lot of phone calls within the country you are going to (e.g. France), it might be useful to use a subscription or prepaid card from a local provider.


There are some limitations to use of your mobile phone without extra costs within the EU:

  • If you are abroad for a longer period of time, you may get a warning from your provider. This can be the case if you have been more abroad than at home in a period of 4 months. In this case your provider is entitled to charge you additional costs.
  • If you have a very cheap subscription or unlimited use of data. In this case your provider is entitled to limit the number of gigabytes you can use without extra costs. On https://www.consuwijzer.nl/roaming-rekenhulp-bereken-uw-data-binnen-de-eu  (Dutch only) you can find a tool that helps you to calculate what the minimum number of gigabytes you are entitled to use without extra costs.  You are asked to fill in how much you pay for your subscription, incl. VAT. Make sure you only mention the subscription costs for Internet and leave out the costs fort text messages and calls.

Prepaid Option

If you use a prepaid option, you can also call abroad without extra charges.  If you pay less than €7.70 per gigabyte, your provider is allowed to limit the number of gigabyte you can use without extra charges. However, this is only allowed if your provider doesn’t check how long you are abroad.

Situations in which you still have to pay roaming costs

In some situations you still have to pay roaming costs:

  • If you are e.g. with your Dutch phone in France and you call a number in France (e.g. from a restaurant).
  • If you are calling from one EU country to another one, e.g. you are in France with your Dutch mobile phone and make a phone call to Spain.

The roaming rules for the EU are valid for all EU countries and their areas overseas (e.g. Gibraltar for the UK, French Guyana for France, Guernsey & Jersey for the UK).

There are no official regulations for roaming costs outside the EU. It is best to ask your provider what the costs are for a particular country before you leave.

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