UK mobile operators reintroduce roaming charges for EU travel
Two of the UK’s biggest mobile operators – EE and Vodafone – have announced that they will be introducing additional chargers for customers using their phones in the European Union.
Since 2017, consumers in the UK have been able to use their minutes, texts, and data when traveling within the EU. But, since January, operators have been allowed to reinstate roaming charges as part of the Brexit trade deal, which was finalised and signed last year.
How much will the charges be?
So far, two mobile operators have announced that they will be charging their customers from January 2022 to use their phones in the EU. EE was the first network to detail what its new charges will be.
For people that signed up to EE or upgraded their contracts after 7th July, it will cost £2 a day to use their tariff allowances in 47 European destinations. This excludes travel to the Republic of Ireland – which will continue to be free. There will be 30-day packages for longer travel periods.
Vodafone has now followed EE and has introduced charges for some of its newer customers from next year.
For sim-only deals, only emergency calls will be allowed outside the UK and Ireland. For most other tariffs, roaming will cost £2 a day, with longer stay passes available for some customers. Some of the company’s more expensive plans will include free-roaming.
Although the other big operators in the UK – Three and O2 – have said they don’t have any plans to introduce roaming charges at the moment, they said they may add “fair use limits” on how much their customers can use their phones when in the EU.
The UK’s trade deal with the EU says that operators should have “transparent and reasonable rates” if they introduce roaming charges.
It also includes some safeguards for costumes, including a £45 limit on charges for mobile data when abroad, requirements to alert customers when they reach 80% and 100% of their data allowance, and taking “reasonable steps” to help customers avoid accidental roaming charges.