The Re-introduction of Mobile Roaming Charges in Europe
July 16, 2021
When travelling to the EU over the past few years, UK consumers have generally been able to use everything included in their mobile phone tariffs without any extra charges. However, that is about to change.
The UK’s Brexit trade deal with the EU in January 2021 has unfortunately enabled the re-introduction of mobile roaming charges. With roaming charges no longer being ruled out, which operators will announce extra costs and what does this mean for the future?
FAQs About New EU Mobile Roaming Charges
Which Mobile Networks Are Charging and How Much?
EE has become the first mobile network to introduce EU mobile roaming charges and will implement these changes from January 2022. Any customers that join or upgrade their contract after 7th July 2022 will be charged £2 a day to use their minutes, texts and data included in their plans in 47 European destinations.
30-day packages will also be available for customers travelling for longer periods in order to offer a more cost-effective solution.
All the other major UK operators, including Vodafone, Three and O2, have said they will not be introducing roaming charges, but there are “fair use limits” on the amount of time customers can use their phone whilst abroad.
What Are “Fair Use Limits”?
Operators will incur extra costs if UK customers spend more than half their time overseas, generally more than 62 days in a four-month period. Some of these extra costs include:
- O2 customers will have a monthly data limit of 25GB, and every extra GB will cost an extra £3.50
- Three customers will have a monthly data limit of 12GB, and every extra GB will cost an extra £3.
Also, you will not be able to purchase a mobile phone contract from a European country and use it all year round in the UK.
Are There Any Roaming Charge Limits for UK Consumers?
In addition to both EU and UK operators being transparent with their rates and enforcing reasonable ones at that, there are also some safeguards for consumers to limit the amount they are charged:
- Accidental roaming, specifically in Northern Ireland, should be avoided at all costs
- Customers should not be charged more than £45 a month for using data abroad
- Customers should be informed when they reach 80% and 100% of their data allowance
What Does the Future Look Like for EU Mobile Roaming Charges?
The future of EU mobile roaming charges depends on agreements between UK operators and their EU counterparts. There is no way to say that the UK operators currently not charging will continue not to, but there is a reasonable chance that some may choose to keep offering inclusive roaming.
If you travel with your business and are concerned about your business mobile tariff and how these roaming charges will affect you, make sure to check the details or get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.