iOS 8 (Settings, Cellular, EU Internet 001)

The most recent beta of iOS 8 has introduced an easily overlooked new option under the Cellular section of the iOS Settings app. It’s called ‘EU Internet,’ applies only to those traveling in the European Union and is a bit puzzling.

As a quick recap, exorbitant roaming charges for data downloads in the European Union have already been reduced in an effort to make prices more realistic for those using mobile devices outside their home country.

That’s just the beginning as the European parliament recently passed a new regulation, currently needing an approval by the Council of the European Union, that promises to render all roaming charges in the EU illegal by December 2015.

As a result, European customers will always pay the same price for all phone calls, text messages and mobile data usage everywhere in the EU…

The new ‘EU Internet’ switch has surfaced in iOS 8 Beta 4, which was issued to Apple’s registered iOS developers last Monday.

Found in Settings > Cellular, as depicted top right, it’s somewhat confusing because one can’t enable the ‘EU Internet’ option unless flipping the ‘Data Roaming’ switch first.

“Turn off data roaming when traveling to avoid charges when web browsing and using email, MMS and other data services,” reads the feature’s description. “EU Internet service only applies to Internet and personal hotspot data traffic.”

My understanding is that the ‘EU Internet’ switch limits data service to EU countries and should remain inactive in non-EU countries and in other parts of the world.

The current implementation, I’m sure, will undergo a revision before iOS 8 launches this Fall because it’s downright confusing. Again, enabling the ‘EU Internet’ option requires you to activate the ‘Data Roaming’ option which in turn allows your device to access data services on foreign networks.

However, if you want to turn on ‘EU Internet’ services without allowing data roaming, iOS 8 Beta 4 lets you do this by setting the ‘Data Roaming’ toggle to ON first. Next, enable the new ‘EU Internet’ toggle and then disable the Data Roaming option.

At any rate, I’m liking that Apple is implementing the ‘EU Internet’ toggle ahead of the official ruling on roaming charges in EU, especially given some EU carriers are already working on abolishing their roaming fees earlier than December 2015.

I want to hear from our European readers: is this something you’ll find useful?

  • Álvaro Morales Navarro

    Everything intended to make easier the life of users should be welcome. Even if it is a more local functionality like this.

  • dagaloni

    Very usefull!

  • nyangejr

    How about Africa??

  • Jailbrkr21

    so if you live in the UK this should be set to on? it is quite confusing. of will the IPSW in the uk be set for the correct setting when it is downloaded?

    • Tom

      It’s up to you and is down to how you want your phone to work.

      If you want your phone to work when you travel somewhere OUTSIDE the EU (such as the US), leave data roaming on (green).

      If you DON’T want this happen (because you can end up with a big bill), then switch data roaming off (white). Your phone will now only use data in your home country.

      If you don’t want your phone to work in countries outside the EU, but you do want it to work inside the EU, then turn data roaming off (white) and turn EU Internet on (green).


  • jaysoncopes

    It would almost make more sense if the option only appeared in EU countries, though, so that it doesn’t confuse the other 75% of the world.

    • Magnus

      Haha! You are American, right? 😛

      • jaysoncopes

        Yup. You’re not, I assume.

    • Marco Ermini

      Unfortunately, America is not 75% of the world. I know it can come as a surprise for someone…

      • jaysoncopes

        Mmmm good thing I was talking about the non-EU countries, not just America. As big as you think the EU is, it definitely doesn’t contain more people than US + Russia + China.

      • Marco Ermini

        Penetration of iPhones is much higher in western countries. Russia, China, and where a great pack of smartphone users is – south and southeast Asia – use much less iPhones for costs reasons.

        Smartphones penetration is also generally higher in percentage in EU than in the rest of the World, including US.
        Apple has made their calculus, and knows who buys their products.

  • .:Carlos:.

    Here in the U.K. the Three network as abolished EU roaming charges and even implemented Unlimited internet (And its genuinely unlimited!)

    • James

      Well it’s actually ‘All You Can Eat’ data, but they still give us a cool 2TB to use on their 3G and LTE networks which is nice.

      • orthorim

        2TB?? Wow. Is that network really unpopular?

      • James

        Why would they be unpopular if they give you 2 Terrabytes to use on a phone. Actually they are growing because they offer one of the best deals in the country. Many people I know are switichjng to them.

      • .:Carlos:.

        Well if we want the jump into specifics, considering I was previously an employee of three UK. it’s actually 1000GB of data in one month before they even consider looking or traffic managing your service. Which for any reasonable person that usage is unattainable and therefore can be considered as ‘unlimited’ your welcome to check the t&c on the website.
        Also, one plan contracts before March 2014 also include unlimited tethering.

    • Jonathan Turner

      its the same a Three network in ireland which has much stronger footing then in the UK, popularity wise, i travel to london all the time and its so great having my 4g for free there too! 3 is by far the best network from a customer point of view. only one that feels like there not robbing you.

  • Alex Ruski

    Isn’t the data roaming switch inverted by Apple all this time?! shouldn’t it be turned on when you travel abroad instead of turned off! Where is the logic here?!

  • Claudio Cilia

    I’m from the EU and I don’t know what the hell ‘EU Internet’ is looool ..and didn’t quite get it :p

    • I gather it’s just data roaming for EU countries alone

    • orthorim

      It’s a beta so I hope it gets removed before it ships. The EU regulations sound great – putting an end to that racket – but it’s weird and confusing that they would require a special setting in the phone?!

      I would imagine if EU roaming charges are made illegal that it would be left to carriers to figure out how much to charge to whom – for end users, they should just have cell phone service, end of story.

  • EllipticSet

    When you flick the “EU Internet” switch and go on the “Cellular Data Network” section, you’ll find a different APN.

    I traveled to Prague last week, and came back in Italy only wednesday (so I installed beta 4 in Prague) and when I flicked the EU Internet switch, I could not navigate anymore, I received errors when connecting to the network.
    I think this function will be deprecated from final iOS 8, let’s see…

  • lemonhead

    I would rather have a disable/enable all apps access to the internet, in the data roaming section…


    • orthorim

      Um, that’s already in iOS 7 dude. Settings -> Cellular, scroll down, then you can enable and disable cell internet access for every single app that requested it.

      • lemonhead

        Sorry, let me rephrase that. I have a limited number of mb (30) of data volume for abroad my country, so enough to have whatsapp on while on holidays…

        But everytime I go on holidays, I disable all the apps individually, except whatsapp so that only whatsapp uses my data volume…

        An with about 150 apps that’s a huge pain in the ass, do u get what I’m trying to explain now?

  • Paul Chitescu

    The “EUInternet” is a special Access Point that enables a separate data contract with a visited country operator. This way voice remains in roaming but local Internet access can be bought much cheaper.

    To the best of my knowledge no operator is yet offering this service…

  • Michel Luczak

    Very useful here in France as most of the carriers propose free data roaming inside EU zone already

  • Paul

    definetly, too bad it is not working yet; on the other hand since i installed the new IOS, i had problems with connecting to viber over 3G; do you have any idea why it could be so? before it worked and after I installed it, nothing could would work any more….

  • SPYvsSPY

    I’m a Dutch user and EU residents should note that with ios 8, if you turn on both data roamimg and eu internet, your data service will not work outside your home country. So it’s not worth much yet.

  • Andrew

    The networks are NOT currently configured for this to work correctly. If you’re based in the UK and travel overseas, leave this switched OFF and data roaming switched ON.

    Otherwise you will see life in your connection, but nothing will load, etc.