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As I understand it, roaming is the part of a phone connection which uses the infrastructure of a non-domestic network (is that correct?). Lets say my mobile carrier is German, and I have a tariff with unlimited domestic calls. We also assume the newly abolished roaming charges. Are my interpretations in the following scenarios correct?

  1. I call a French number located outside of Germany from Germany. In this case I pay whatever the price my operator puts on international calls to France, as long as it's located within the EU(or do I pay different charges depending on his location?). If he were lets say in India, I'd pay for a call to India (or would I pay for a call to France and he would pay the rest? I'm not sure.).

  2. I call a French number located within Germany from Germany. I still pay for a call to France since the connection first goes to his operator in France, who then serves him with my call.

  3. I call the same French number located anywhere within the EU, from within the EU but outside of Germany. Now I don't pay anything since all calls from outside your EU home-country to another EU country are considered roaming (which paradoxically makes my telephony cheaper outside then within Germany. What is the logic behind this?).

  4. I call a German number located outside of Germany, but within the EU, from Germany. I don't pay anything since my operator is serving me all the way, in contrast to 1. (Before the new regulation I would pay for using non-domestic infrastructure).

2

Exact answers depend on carrier and national policies, but:

You always pay the standard rates. Roaming or no roaming depends upon recievers location.

I call a French number located outside of Germany from Germany..

Call from you to French, he could be or not in France. You pay charges for Germany to France rates. He pays nothing extra, assuming he is in EU.

If he were lets say in India, I'd pay for a call to India

Nothing changes for you price wise, you still psy Geramny to France rates and he pays for international roaming.

I call a French number located within Germany from Germany.

You call from Germany to French, who is in Germany. Covered in above, you pay rates for Germany to France. He pays nothing. You do not pay local rates, because he is guest from France on German network.

I call the same French number located anywhere within the EU, from within the EU but outside of Germany. Now I don't pay anything since all calls from outside your EU home-country to another EU country are considered roaming.

Roaming is not something to replace the standard charges. If standard charges are $1/minute outgoing, and free incoming, Roaming says $5 out and $2 outgoing. Abolishing roaming does not make calls free for you, its just forces the prices to fall back to standard, same way as you should have been charged if you were home, $1 out and free incoming.

So, you use your Germany number from Austria to call French number (can be anywhere in EU), you pay same as you would have paid if you were in Germany.

I call a German number located outside of Germany, but within the EU, from Germany. I don't pay anything

Again, pay nothing would be true only if it is true if would pay nothing if calling other number from Germany and he was also in Germany. So, right is, you wouldn't pay anything extra.

Think of all this as that borders have been abolished in sense of networks and charges, whole EU is your home network and every other EU phone user. Yes, rates from Germany to France are still international, but now it will stay same no matter if you are in Germany or outside in EU. Your carrier's rate list of Roaming charges is abolished, and only one single rate list is there for you, no matter where you are.

Disclaimer: Again exact rates and methods will depend on carrier and national policies.

  • Yeah, I understand that my home charges apply, in my hypothetical I have unlimited calls at home. So the answer to number 3 is "I would pay the same as for an international call from Germany to France", right? – Fran Medjurecan Jun 17 '17 at 10:16
  • @FranMedjurecanYes, if he is French (any present anywhere in EU), & you have German Number (& present anywhere in EU), you would pay for German->French Rates, international. – DavChana Jun 17 '17 at 10:42
  • No, number 3 is extremely special. For example, with a Congstar prepaid tariff, calling a french mobile phone number from within Germany costs 149 cents/min (source), while calling the same number from Austria costs 9 cents/min (source) ... – Sabine Jun 17 '17 at 17:52
  • @Sabine yes, true, hence the disclaimer at top & bottom of answer :) – DavChana Jun 17 '17 at 18:57
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As you aren't expected to know where everybody that you have a telephone number for are, it would be quite unfair if the price for calling people depended on where they actually are. So you always pay for calling the country their number belongs to, if they are actually somewhere else, they might (this case is also affected by the new EU roaming rules, I guess that having to pay was the most common scenario, but technically their operator has always decided) be charged for receiving your call. That should clear up your first points.

You have misunderstood what "free EU roaming" is about. It just means that you don't pay extra for using your phone in another EU country, you still pay what you would pay at home, i.e. it doesn't matter whether you're in Germany or France when you call someone.

  • Was I not clear enough about having unlimited calls at home? Anyway, thanks for the answer 😀 – Fran Medjurecan Jun 17 '17 at 9:56
  • I skipped that as it doesn't really matter. That just means that the price you don't pay extra on top on is 0. – Henrik - stop hurting Monica Jun 17 '17 at 11:52

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