Earlier this year, the United Kingdom left the European Union (EU) and entered a transition phase where things more or less stayed the same. From January, the UK enters a new relationship with the EU which could technically see the re-introduction of roaming charges for travellers to the mainland. The four network operators: EE, O2, Vodafone and Three have all stated, however, that they have no plans to bring back roaming fees, but MVNOs could.
Speaking to the BBC, the UK’s biggest network EE said:
“Our customers enjoy inclusive roaming in Europe and beyond, and we don’t have any plans to change this based on the Brexit outcome. So our customers going on holiday and travelling in the EU will continue to enjoy inclusive roaming.”
O2 also has no plans for roaming fees, it said:
“We’re committed to providing our customers with great connectivity and value when they travel outside the UK. We currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe.”
As for Three, it pointed out that it already offers roaming at no extra cost for its customers in over 70 countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand. It said it will retain “this great customer benefit regardless of Brexit negotiations.” Vodafone also told the BBC that it wasn’t going to re-introduce roaming fees.
It’s not clear what mobile virtual network operators will do regarding roaming fees but hopefully, they will not re-introduce them either; they typically run on one of the big four networks which aren’t introducing roaming so it’s likely this will filter down to MVNOs too.
The EU scrapped roaming fees in 2015. Before the rule change, many unsuspecting customers came back from holiday with extortionate bills. It’s also worth noting that industry warned of a massive increase in roaming charges for UK customers after Brexit; it’s not clear if this will come true in the future but for the time being, roaming fees won’t be coming back.
Source: BBC News