Hungarians use data roaming in growing numbers and frequency

  • February 13, 2018
1024 344 eNet

Since the European Parliament has voted to drop roaming fees within the EU, it is no longer a struggle to make and receive calls, send texts or use mobile data within another EU country. Most adult Hungarian Internet users are well aware of the good news: 85 percent have heard about the new rules. Nearly 2.5 million adult Hungarian Internet users have used roaming for making or receiving calls, 1.8 million for texting, and nearly 900 thousand for activities requiring mobile data. 37 percent of respondents reported using mobile data in another EU country only since the scrapping of fees – and the approaching ski season will probably see their number grow. The latest “Report on the Internet Economy” by eNET – Telekom focuses on respondents’ experiences with roaming.

900 thousand mobile data roamers, and growing

According to eNET’s online research conducted in October 2017, 85 percent of adult Hungarian Internet users have heard that roaming fees within the EU have been dropped starting June 15, 2017, allowing subscribers to make and receive calls, send texts and use mobile data under the same conditions as in their home countries.

Nearly 900 thousand adult Hungarian Internet users report having used roaming via their smartphone or tablet for activities requiring mobile data. Although half of them have already been using roaming services before fees were abolished, and continued through the changes, 37 percent of respondents reported using mobile data in another EU country only since the scrapping of fees – and the approaching ski season will probably see their number grow.

Not only has the number of data roamers grown, they also go online abroad more often since the neverending quest of finding a Wi-Fi hotspot has ended. No wonder, as subscribers can now use their data plans without extra costs. Since June 2017, the number of people using their mobile Internet abroad has nearly doubled compared to when roaming fees still applied.

Data roaming is mainly reserved for communication and gathering information

Staying connected remains a priority for respondents even when abroad: the most common reason for mobile data roaming is e-mailing (85 percent), instant messaging keeping a high place on the list as well (71 percent).

Mobile data roaming is essential for communication, but also for being informed while abroad: 81 percent of respondents use GPS or online maps for navigation, 77 percent look up information online, 68 percent browse the Internet, and 67 percent check the weather forecast using mobile Internet.

Roaming calls and texts have the highest number of users – but data roaming is shooting for the stars

Nearly 2.5 million adult Hungarian Internet users have used roaming for making or receiving calls, and 1.8 million for texting. Although both figures are much higher than the number of mobile data roamers, the expansion in their number since the scrapping of roaming fees has been significantly smaller. Of all respondents who report having used roaming for phone calls, 12 percent have never done so before the policy change, while this number is even smaller, only 7 percent for texters. In comparison, 37 percent of mobile data roamers are new entrants.

The scrapping of roaming fees is not only making service users’ lives easier; according to 64 percent of adult Hungarian Internet users, it is also an important factor contributing to the spread of Internet usage in Europe.

eNET – Telekom

About the survey referenced in this article: eNET queried 1153 Hungarian Internet users over 18 years of age in October, 2017. The survey was conducted via the online research community veva.hu (short for Véleményem Van – „I have an opinion”). The results are representative of the views of Hungarian internet users aged 18+ in terms of gender, age and region.