For the past few years we have enjoyed using our mobile phones whilst in Europe without the fear of hugh bills when getting home, thanks to EU mobile phone roaming legislation. Last week UK Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, has confirmed that both Vodafone and Three UK have committed to retain free EU mobile roaming after Brexit – hurrah , but what about the others ?[separator]
Rabb said the Government would “legislate for a limit on roaming charges” in the event of a no-deal outcome, but this is not likely to be in place in time for next Summer holiday season.[separator]
At present citizens of the European Union benefit from free mobile roaming via the “Roam Like At Home” regulation. As such anybody choosing to use their Mobile (SIM) to make calls, text or use 3G / 4G data while roaming around the EU should be able to do so for the same price as they pay their UK operator (i.e. no extra roaming charges), although there are some caveats for mobile broadband usage above a certain level.[separator]
Brexit, which is due to take effect from 29th March 2019 could change that situation resulting in fears that UK consumers may face higher charges, as well as a possible return to post-travel bill shocks.
The Government hopes to secure a Brexit deal by mid-November, although Raab has now told the BBC that it would legislate to limit a return to roaming charges in the event of a no-deal outcome. One problem with this is that such legislation could take time to introduce and imposing a “limit” is not necessarily the same as a complete ban.[separator]
At the same time there would be nothing to stop some EU operators from raising their charges against UK providers. On the other hand EU operators would have to be mindful that EU citizens visiting the UK might also face higher charges, unless existing agreements between operators are retained. Some operators, such as Vodafone, are large pan-European companies and so will find it easier to support free roaming than others, at least in the countries where they already have a presence.[separator]
For more information on mobile SIM cards and roaming charges, call trio telecom on 01727 221303.