BT-owned mobile operator EE is to start charging UK customers to use their phones in Europe, having previously said it had no plans to reintroduce roaming costs after the Brexit trade deal signed at the end of 2020. UK’s trade deal encourages operators to be transparent and have reasonable rates (See here) but has not banned additional charges.
The move will affect new EE customers and those upgrading from July 7, who face a £2 daily fee from January 2022 to use their data, minutes, and texts allowance when roaming in 47 European destinations, though the Republic of Ireland will be exempt.
Mobile networks in EU countries have been banned by the introduction of new legislation since 2017, from charging additional fees for the use of data while roaming in other member countries. This was in response to shockingly high bills that were presented to some holidaymakers who were using their data plans while on their travels, to connect to internet services.
With EE leading the way, there is potential for other mobile providers to follow. 02 has reported that they are adding a “fair use” cap of 25GB a month, and Three is reducing its fair use limit from 20GB to 12GB. If other operators seek to reintroduce additional charges to their UK customers, wifi connection points on holiday may become more and more valued by consumers in response.
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