Even if the European Union has reached a “like at home” roaming agreement, this cannot guarantee that we will have the same quality as in our country of origin when go on vacation. It is curious that in some directions tourists will have better speeds than the “natives”, as in the case of Spain.
European roaming “like at home”
When you travel outside your country of origin to another European Union country, you don’t need to pay extra fee for using a mobile phone. This is known as “roaming” or “roaming like home” and this policy has been extended until at least 2032.
Your calls (to mobiles and landlines), text messages (SMS), and data usage (web browsing, music and video streaming, etc.) paid at national rates, i.e. the same price as calls, texts and data in your country of origin. The same rule applies to any calls or text messages you receive while abroad: you will not be charged any additional charges for calls or text messages while roaming, even if the person calling you has an operator.
However, having this option does not mean that you will have the same benefits in all countries, because you will using the telecommunications infrastructure of the country of destination.
European speed and latency
Speed and latency are two important performance indicators Online. Speed will affect content streaming more, while latency will affect games and video calls. Both also come into play when you explore maps online.
Okla’s analysis shows that Mobile speed in roaming is usually lower than when viewing your country of origin. While EU residents can make calls, send text messages and use roaming at no additional cost, data from Q2 2023 shows slow roaming speeds are a concern.
Residents of 17 countries demonstrated higher local download speeds than roaming speeds when considering the results of all technologies in the second quarter of 2023. The 11 exceptions were Romania (where roaming was much faster), Belgium, Hungary, Estonia, the UK, Greece and Spain show higher roaming speeds, while Latvia, Malta, Ireland and Italy show only marginal speed improvements. In the specific case in our country, the average download speed with mobile data is 32.33 Mbps locally, while tourists increase average roaming speed to 35.77 Mbps.
In the case of 5G, still more boosted from 85.75 Mbps to 116.48 Mbps Only Hungary, Spain and Poland are countries with faster 5G roaming than local, while in Greece 5G roaming is slightly better than at home, and the residents of Malta did not see much difference.
Latency is still an unresolved issue for European roaming. Residents of all countries surveyed had much higher latency across multiple servers when roaming in the second quarter of 2023. This is because roaming signals are routed through the user’s home network, making latency a major issue for Europeans when traveling. The difference was smallest in Italy and France, where roaming latency was 97% higher for local residents than at home. At the other end of the scale, Cypriots have 615% higher roaming latency than at home. For Spain, local latency tends to double for tourists, from 51.53ms to 112.81ms for standard connections and from 47.11ms to 102.94ms for 5G.