Roaming

What is Roaming? – Soluno explains

Roaming means that the user jumps between different mobile networks, when you’re abroad where your own carrier doesn’t have coverage to call, text or use mobile data. Roaming doesn’t cost extra anymore in Europe but can be pricey elsewhere in the world.

Roaming can be turned on and off easily on mobile phones and it’s best to double check roaming costs at your destination before traveling to avoid an expensive bill. Prices for roaming are often provided in a text from the carrier when the phone recognized a new location.

Roaming is automatically done when turned on, both inside Sweden and abroad. It’s however not the same as hand-off/hand-over, where you stay in the same mobile network but the call changes into being managed by a tower. The word originates from the meaning to roam around, but is more often used in the technical sense.

  • Roaming means changing between connection to different mobile networks.
  • Roaming can also be used within Sweden for better coverage
  • Roaming shouldn’t be confused with hand-off or hand-over
  •  Hand-off/hand-over is aimed towards switching between different towers
  • EU regulates roaming prices in Europe since 2007
  • Since 2017 there are no additional fees for roaming within EU/EES

What is roaming?

In English roaming basically means roaming around. In technology it’s used to describe switching between mobile networks. This often happens automatically when your phone recognises what networks are available and then chooses the one with the best reception if your regular carrier’s isn’t available.

It sometimes also happens in Swedish networks, but more often means international roaming, or in other words, jumping between the local networks in the country you’re in. This also happens automatically, but is easy to shut on or off to avoid extra costs.

The term shouldn’t be confused with hand-off or hand-over, which instead means a user’s call being managed by two different towers without the call being interrupter. The same mobile network is still used with hand-off or hand-over. Roaming only applies to calls, texts and data traffic, but even when the function is shut off the phone can still access WiFi.

Does roaming cost extra?

Since 2007 EU controls the fees for roaming within Europe, as a result of many countries setting very high prices for primarily data traffic. In june 2017 an agreement was made in EU that diminishes all fees for roaming within EU and EES countries and it now costs nothing extra.

This was done in result to the unions work to create a unified and cohesive Europe without barriers in communication, just like when they removed barriers in travel and retail. In the rest of the world there are however fees left, but are in many countries controlled by the carrier.

Carriers may have agreements with the respective country’s own carrier to keep prices down, and you can usually buy extra surf-bundles in different sizes. Roaming prices abroad are big income source for mobile carriers, thus making EUs agreements an important step in creating limitless communication in Europe.

Glossary