Roaming in the EU: Home from Home

Data roaming

If you’re heading abroad this summer, you might be worried about roaming charges while using your mobile overseas. Well, worry no more. With Tesco Mobile’s new Home From Home promotion, you can use your phone in 31 European countries with absolutely no roaming charges – so all you need to worry about on your holiday is sun cream!

But, what exactly is roaming and why are the rules suddenly changing? We’ve compiled our very own list of frequently asked questions to help you get to grips with roaming and avoid unnecessary charges this summer.

So what is roaming?

When you leave an area where your mobile device has a signal, it will often roam to search for another network. This is designed to allow you to connect to other service providers when out of your usual network area – to allow you to make calls, send texts and browse the web – and most commonly occurs when you go abroad.

What are roaming charges?

When you connect to another network overseas, you are usually charged higher rates above your UK tariff, which can lead to unexpectedly large bills if you’re not careful. However, in October 2015, the European Parliament voted to abolish roaming charges within the EU, which must be implemented by June 2017 across all networks.

What is Home From Home?

Tesco Mobile is proudly ahead of the game, banishing roaming charges for our customers while they are in any of the 31 countries covered by our Home From Home promotion. As of 23rd May 2016, our pay monthly and pay as you go customers will be able to take their mobile into Europe and call, text and use mobile data just as they would at home, and there will be no extra roaming charges.

Which countries are included in Home From Home?

Our Home From Home offer includes all countries within the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, so you can travel far and wide with peace of mind this summer.

What if I use up all my minutes, data and bundles while abroad?

Exactly the same as what would happen at home – you’ll be charged our standard UK pay monthly or pay as you go rates, unless you buy an additional bundle. If you’re on pay monthly and you’ve capped your contract and used up all your minutes, texts or data, then you’ll need to pay for more or increase your safety buffer by using our App, logging into My Account or by calling 4488. If you don’t want to increase your spend, you’ll still be able to receive calls and texts on your phone while abroad.

Sounds amazing, how do I get Home From Home?

If you’re already a Tesco Mobile customer, on a contract or pay as you go, then you don’t need to do a thing! When you arrive in one of our Home From Home countries, we’ll drop you a text to let you know you’re good to go. If you’re a brand new customer, all you need to do is activate and use your SIM in the UK first, before jetting off.

How long is Home From Home running?

Our Home From Home offer is running all summer long, from 23rd May to 4th September 2016, so you can enjoy using your minutes, texts and data no matter when you set off.

Are there any restrictions on Home From Home?

Home From Home is available to all Tesco Mobile customers, whether you’re on a pay as you go or pay monthly contract. If you’re a pay as you go customer, you will need to have activated, topped-up and used your SIM before going on holiday.

There’s also some fair use restrictions you should know about:

  • You can use your UK allowance in Home From Home countries for up to 28 days between 23rd May – 4th September 2016
  • Calls to numbers starting with 070, 09 or 118 directory enquiries are not included in our Home From Home offer
  • Our UK fair use policy of up to 400 texts per day still applies
  • You cannot use tethering/hotspots
  • Our Home From Home rates are not available on ferries, cruise ships or aeroplanes

Find out more about data roaming

You can find everything you need to know about this new scheme on our Home From Home page, as well as great guides on using your phone or tablet abroad and using data abroad.