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Since EU roaming charges were scrapped, Irish phone use abroad has skyrocketed

Between July and September last year, data usage by Irish citizens travelling in the EU increased by 218%.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

MOBILE PHONE USE by Irish people travelling abroad in EU countries has doubled since roaming charges were scrapped last year, according to Fine Gael MEP, Brian Hayes.

The Dublin representative was speaking following a publication by the Body of European Regulators in Electronic Communications which found that between July and September 2017, data usage by Irish citizens travelling in the EU increased by 218%.

The new ‘no charge’ rules were implemented on 15 June last year.

Hayes said that the increase in use was a good measure of how successful the policy was.

“Irish citizens are taking full advantage of the new ‘Roam Like at Home’ rules,” Hayes said.

In the period April to June 2017, Irish citizens used 390,000GB of data while travelling in the EU. From July to September this figure dramatically increased to 1.24 million gigabytes.

“The increased usage is not only data related. The number of SMS messages sent increased from 12.84 million in the 2nd quarter to 23.87 million in the 3rd quarter – an increase of 85%.

“The number of minutes spent on the phone also increased from 20.8 million minutes to 45.8 million minutes – an increase of 120%.”

Roaming Source: Brian Hayes

Hayes said that he expected the increase in usage to continue this year.

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