Data roaming

What is data roaming?

Data roaming is when you data surf with your mobile or your mobile broadband like you usually would at home. Since 2018, EU has instilled new laws whereas roaming fees have been backtracked. However, it’s not entirely without limitations. Roaming service is in essence internet access when away from home at the same price of a call or at least considerably less than the usual long-distance prices that previously were sky-high. If you travel to Berling from Sweden, you can call from a designated access provider in Berlin and instead of paying long-distance charges, you pay the local phone connection charge in Berlin to a much better price.

Roaming within EU should however be distinguished from outside of EU. If you surf outside of EU, regular fees for roaming apply, for example; if you travel to Norway or Switzerland. You usually need to change the settings in your mobile unit to allow roaming when you’re not connected to your regular carrier.

As soon as you travel to a new country your phone will connect to a carrier there. You will get a text from your Swedish carrier that will notify you of how much surf you have – if you have free surf in Sweden.

  • Data roaming is to data surf through a different carrier abroad.
  • With the new EU rules you can surf just like you would at home.
  • There are limitations that regulates abuse of data roaming.
  • There are additional fees for extra surf beyond the amount that your carrier provides.
  • Prices for extra data will decrease up til year 2020.
  • You can choose a subscription without free roaming within EU.
  • No limitations for those that travel for work within EU countries.

National and international roaming

When discussing roaming, there is both national and international. National roaming refers to moving from one mobile operator to another within the same country. However, due to license and commercial resons, this roaming type isn’t allowed unless very specific circumstances have established it as ok under regulatory scrutiny. This mostly happens when a company is assigned a mobile license, in order to create a competitive market. This helps to allow new competitors in offering coverage comparable to current mainstream operators.

International roaming on the other hand refers to moving to a foreign service provider’s network and is of main interest for tourists and business travellers. International roaming is the most common and using GSM standard, it’s used by over 80% of the world’s carriers.

Some fees may apply

It’s recommended to turn off your roaming when you’re outside of EU due to costs being much higher. Today’s smartphones use more data than what might show. Within Eu you can surf and call as if you’re in Sweden with some limitations.

If you for example call in Spain to a number in Belgium, it will cost just as much as if you were doing it in Sweden. The limitations depend on what your mobile subscription looks like. If you have a cash card whereas you add extra data, it will cost 6 euro per gigabyte.

If your call minutes run out it will cost a few extra cents when you’re abroad. If you have free data surf in Sweden, you won’t have free data surf in another EU country. Your carrier is however required to give you an extensive amount of data as compensation abroad.

How do I turn on data roaming?

  1. Open your settings for mobile network. Choose Connection.
  2.  Click mobile network.
  3. Activate data roaming. Here you can choose to activate or deactivate Data roaming. Remember that your mobile data has to be turned on in order to be able to roam.


You carrier has the right to check your data use and call minutes in a four month time period. If it turns out that you’ve used data surf and call minutes more abroad than at home, the carrier will require you to explain the situation within 14 days.

If you commute between two EU countries, let’s say you live on the border between Denmark and Finland, working from one and living in the other, you have the right to use data roaming freely. This only requires you to be connected to home home network at least once a day.

This further means that if you live in Malmö and sign a Swedish subscription, you have the right to call freely in Copenhagen as long as you connect the mobile to the home network in Malmö at least once a day. This still applies even if you use more data in Copenhagen than Malmö.

Last updated October 2020