Mobile roaming charges in Europe: What you need to know

Three has become the latest big UK mobile operator to announce that it is going to start charging its customers extra for using their phones in Europe.

It follows the example of EE and Vodafone.

Between 2017 and the end of 2020, UK consumers were able, within reason, to use the minutes, texts and data included on their mobile phone tariffs when travelling in the EU.

But since January 2021, UK operators have been allowed to reintroduce so-called roaming charges because the UK left the EU and the Brexit trade deal did not rule them out.

What charges will there be?

None of the networks will be charging for roaming in the Republic of Ireland.

From 23 May 2022, Three customers who have signed up or upgraded from October 2021 will have to pay £2 a day to use the minutes and data from their UK contracts in EU countries.

It is also introducing a £5 a day charge for roaming in some countries outside the EU, where it previously allowed free roaming.

EE will also be charging £2 a day in Europe. It will introduce the charges in January 2022 for customers who joined or upgraded their contracts after 7 July 2021.

There will be 30-day packages available for people travelling for longer periods.

Vodafone’s charges will be applied from 6 January, from when it will have three types of tariffs:

  • Its cheapest sim-only deals do not allow any use apart from emergency calls outside the UK and Ireland
  • Some of its more expensive plans will include roaming at no extra charge
  • The rest of its tariffs will offer roaming for £2 a day.

All four of the big operators previously said they had no plans to introduce roaming charges. O2 still says that

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